LAHORE: The Pakistan Businesses Forum (PBF) urged the provincial governments that oil seed crops needs to be promoted in the provinces and base price may be set by the government to support massive cultivation in the country and accordingly oil mills in the country used that crop for making cooking oil and ghee.
Talking to the media here, PBF Vice President Ahmad Jawad said oil seeds in Pakistan characterized a policy failure because the production of oil seeds yet as edible oil had been on the decline despite numerous initiatives. The country has been augmenting growing demand-supply gap through imports since early 1970.
The domestic production contributes solely 13-15 per cent of the whole consumption whereas 85-87 per cent is met through imports.
Jawad said that Pakistan’s per capita consumption of edible oil had risen from 5.31-kg in 1973-74 to 20-kg in 2018 and is probably going to maneuver to 22-kg by 2028 projecting total consumption to 6.
5 million tons by 2028 against current local production of less than 0.5 million tons, widening the demand-supply gap more.
The import bill for these products has reached to over US $ 4 billion in FY2021 which is straining the balance of trade and the balance of payment. With global uncertainties and challenges facing the oilseeds sector, including the sharp price fluctuations and market instability and favorable tariffs for imports, the import bill is likely to move upward underscoring the need for well thought out policy and planning.
Similarly ban obligatory by Indonesia on oil and alternative byproducts’ export, Ukraine-Russia war, and prolonged heatwave can also negatively contribute to the price of edible oil, additional straining the livelihoods of individuals, he said and added in order to tame cooking oil prices, Pakistan needed to convert this crisis into an opportunity by incentivising cultivation of edible oil.