Extracting oil from oilseeds is an age-old village custom in India. The country is the largest oilseeds and vegetable oil producing country in the world. It is also the biggest consumer of vegetable oil, due to it being the most popular cooking medium. Even with a bumper crop of oilseeds India imports edible oil. The most widespread sources of oil are groundnut, mustard and rape seed, sunflower seed, soyabean and coconut. To supplement all these sources, lately palm oil had to be imported on a big scale. In 1950-51 the production of edible oil was 170,000 tonnes. By 1995-96 it had shot up to 6.42 million tonnes. During this period, demand rose up to 7.2 million tonnes and hence the need for imports.
Ordinary oil was replaced in a big way by hydrogenated oils, bearing resemblance with ghee. In fact, hydrogenated ghee is less nutritious compared to natural vegetable oil. Now it is possible to be replaced by refined vegetable oils, available in preserved packs. Gujarat tops all other states in vegetable oil, especially groundnut oil The industry is extensively spread, owing to the universal nature of market and availability of different types of oilseeds in different parts of the country. Like sugar vegetable oil has been escalating quite speedily, despite its exorbitant prices during the last few years. This makes clear the need for setting up oilseeds technology mission. Within a short time it has started demonstrating results.