Efforts to promote safflower seeds

Agriculture State

Experts say that Safflower oil will decrease the dependence on imported oil.

Safflower seed oil production in India will reduce the country’s dependence on imported oil. Sources say the production of safflower seeds is not much as farmers are not aware of the usage of the seeds.

Mahesh A S an organic farmer said, “ I have heard about the seed because I do organic farming but most farmers have no idea.” He added that awareness drives need to be conducted so that farmers can be educated about this. If we produce this then we as a country can be self-sufficient in the oil sector.

NITI Ayog in order to attain self-sufficiency in the edible oil market implemented an oil seed mission to give a boost to domestic production and reduce India’s oil import dependency.

“The enhanced nutritional content of safflower oil, especially oleic acid and linoleic acid, is contributing to its increased utilization in various end-use industries such as food and beverage processing, and dietary supplements,” said a report by Future Market Insights.

Udai Kumar, a city-based doctor said, “Despite the oil’s various health advantages, the cultivation of safflower oil seeds has decreased in India as the seed is expensive.”He added that the health benefits included; blood pressure reduction, heart patients, and a good source of vitamin-E.

Vidya V M, Secretary BJP Raitha Morcha said, “University of Agricultural Sciences Dharwad is going to discuss  the ‘Mission Safflower ‘ in a  workshop on December 1, 2022, in order to increase awareness about the seed.”Experts say that there is a lack of awareness about Indian-grown edible oil seeds, which leads to the import of edible oil from foreign countries. Vidya VM said, “In Mission Safflower, the oil seed will be grown using SubhashPalekar’s idea, this mission will also bring awareness about the seeds.” 

Mission Safflower aims to develop small oil exploration units which will help increase the safflower market size. The mission also plans on creating employment in rural areas. The seeds grown in this mission will be organic and free of chemicals.

 Mahesh the organic farmer who is going to train other farmers said that they will grow in a way that will reduce production costs.

A report from the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfares shows that the production of safflower seeds across India has decreased from 2013 to 2021.  India has emerged as the largest importer of edible oils, it imports about 14 million tonnes of edible oil worth about Rs 1.57 trillion to meet its domestic requirements. according to a press release MolleSalu Solvent Extractor.

Karnataka has been the leading state in the production of safflower, it cultivates about three to four quintals per hectare. Safflower seeds contain—bran(25-30%), protein (15-22%), and fiber (11-12%). Dharwad, Bijapur, Haveri, Gulbarga, Bida, Bellary and Raichur are the major producers of safflower seeds.