Expand sown acreage of oil crops for local oil sufficiency

The use of cooking oil plays a crucial role in the forms of daily consumption as well as the daily cooking process. The majority of the people in Myanmar have been primarily using the cooking oils extracted from sesame and groundnut since yore. However, as the export volume of sesame and groundnut seeds is on the rise, local farmers emphasize the cultivation of sunflowers in order to contribute to the sufficiency of oil for domestic consumption.
Everybody needs 2.25 ticals of oil per day for individual consumption. However, most people consume a large volume of cooking oil more than the daily need, causing oil deficiency. Hence, the people need to reduce individual oil consumption while extending the sown acreage of edible oil crops such as groundnut, sesame, sunflower, niger, canola, soybean, horse gram and oil palm but it is necessary to seek the solution for the supply of cooking oil to meet the local demand.
Myanmar regularly imports more than 900,000 tonnes of cooking oil as the whole country consumes some 1.1 million tonnes of cooking oil. Domestic production of cooking oil extracted from sesame, groundnut, sunflowers and other edible oil crops amounts to just about 400,000 tonnes per year. As such, it is necessary to seek solutions how to solve the problem of a large difference between the production of cooking oil from various oil crops and the local cooking oil demand.
Hence, efforts are being made to expand the sown acreage of sunflower plantations across the nation this financial year so as to ensure the oil sufficiency of the nation. In so doing, a plan is underway to cultivate sunflower plantations on 1.5 million acres of farmlands throughout the nation. Sunflower plants will be primarily cultivated in Sagaing, Mandalay, Magway and Ayeyawady regions and Shan State.
This year, it is expected that expansion of sown acreage for sunflower plants to ensure local oil sufficiency would contribute much to an increase in crop growing capability, especially for sunflower plants. In this regard, local farmers need to buy quality seeds of sunflower from the Department of Agricultural Research, the Department of Agriculture and seed production farmer organizations in order to raise the per-acre yield of crops.
Currently, all people need to reduce oil consumption for saving family costs as well as building healthy families while contributing to the production of cooking oil from various kinds of oil crops including sunflower on expanded sown acres.

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