Shape the nation to be an oil exporter by boosting production

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Myanmar’s daily consumption depends on rice and cooking oil. Rice is a staple food of Myanmar. Myanmar is sufficient in rice but has a deficiency in cooking oil although local farmers cultivate oil crops such as groundnut, sesame, sunflower and canola.
To meet the local demand for cooking oil, the country imports some 800,000 tonnes of palm oil yearly. Although the country is blessed with fertile soil, favourable weather and human resources, domestic production of cooking oil cannot meet the demand of local consumption by a cent per cent. Hence, the government is implementing policies on boosting the production of cooking oil at home and oil sufficiency.
According to the statistics, each citizen consumes 2.25 ticals of cooking oil per day. So, the country needs 1.1 million tonnes of cooking oil for consumption and industrial use on a yearly basis. As the country imports 60 per cent to 70 per cent of cooking oil abroad, efforts are being made to meet the domestic demand through cultivation and production.

Hence, it is necessary to strive for boosting the per-acre yield of oil crops and for enabling domestic oil mills to produce cooking oil meeting set standards. So, all oil crop growers and oil millers need to shape the country to be an oil exporter from an oil importer for benefiting all participants in the production chains.

As such, groundnut, sesame and sunflower are grown in Magway, Mandalay, Sagaing, Bago and Ayeyawady regions, horse gram and niger in Shan State and oil palm in Taninthayi Region. But farmers still cultivate oil crops on some 16 per cent of total farmlands.
Lesser sown acreage of oil crops is based on the weak resilience of oil crops against severe impacts of climatic conditions, hardships to seek the quality strains of oil crop seeds, lesser incomes of farmers in comparison with other crops and weakness of agricultural technologies. Hence, not only the government including agriculturists from relevant departments but also local farmers themselves need to seek quality seeds of oil crops, modern agricultural technologies and proper supply of water to croplands to be able to boost the per-acre yield of crops.
Really, many kinds of oil crops in Myanmar cannot meet the target per-acre yield except groundnut. Moreover, businesspersons export oil crops to foreign markets and import palm oil, sunflower oil and horse gram oil abroad for domestic consumption. But, such an act can harm the businesses of oil mills. Hence, the government has adopted the policy on domestic oil sufficiency to encourage the cultivation and milling of cooking oil at home.
Hence, it is necessary to strive for boosting the per-acre yield of oil crops and for enabling domestic oil mills to produce cooking oil meeting set standards. So, all oil crop growers and oil millers need to shape the country to be an oil exporter from an oil importer for benefiting all participants in the production chains.

 

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