Asia

India's push for domestic palm oil production raises ecological concerns

NEW DELHI – India, the world’s largest importer of palm oil, is pushing to increase domestic production of the commodity to reduce its ballooning edible oil import costs, part of a national initiative to make the country self-sufficient in cooking oils.

The move was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Aug 9 with funding of more than 110 billion rupees (S$2 billion), which includes support for farmers growing oil palm. The government hopes to triple domestic production of palm oil to 1.1 million metric tonnes by 2025-26. This will require expanding oil palm acreage from around 357,000 ha at present to one million ha by 2025-26.

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