India working to ensure no need for edible oil imports: Farm minister

NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - India is working to promote self-sufficiency in edible oil supply so that the country doesn't need to import to meet domestic demand, Farm Minister Sharad Pawar said on Friday.

India imports about half the 16 million to 17 million tonnes of edible oils it consumes every year, mainly palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia, and guarantees minimum prices to its farmers to spur production and trim a hefty import bill.

The farm and food ministries have been working together to see that India doesn't need to depend on vegetable oil imports in the next few years, Mr Pawar told reporters at a conference on seed productivity.

India, the world's biggest importer of vegetable oils, buys mainly palm oil from the two South-east Asian nations, and a small quantity of soyoil from Brazil and Argentina.

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