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Expectations From the Indian Mustard Oil Industry in 2020

Budget 2020 expectations of Indian mustard oil industry

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Mustard Oil is an integral part of Indian agriculture, cuisine and culture. Wikimedia Commons

BY VIVEK PURI

India has emerged as the largest importer of edible oil in the world. The country imported millions of tonnes of edible oil last year from October 2018 to November 2019, which is a record in itself. The nation’s dependence on imported oil is expected to reach alarming levels up to 60-65 per cent.

India continues to remain an oil deficit country and imports millions of tonnes of edible oil each year to meet the demand-supply gap, making it the world’s largest importer of edible oils.

Without a dedicated focus on and support for India’s own domestic oilseed production, it would be challenging to become self-reliant in the edible oil sector. There is an urgent need to have a vision and a plan for this industry. We need to learn from the oilseed producing countries and adopt their best practices, which in turn would enable us to work towards doubling farm incomes by 2022.

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Mustard is one of the most important winter oilseed crops of country. Pixabay

Mustard is one of the most important winter oilseed crops of country. The area under cultivation witnesses some fluctuations year-on-year and has been reported to have declined marginally by one per cent as compared to last year, although the yield has been reported to have increased marginally year-on-year. However, it is still lagging far, far behind the international standards.

During the eighties, the Oilseeds Technology Mission was launched to raise the productivity of oilseed crops, with a view to reducing the import bill, which was nearly 50 per cent of our domestic requirement at that time, and in a span of 10 years after its launch, India became almost self-sufficient in edible oils, in 1993-94, with only three per cent imports, 97 per cent of edible oils were produced within the country. However, over the years, the Oilseeds Technology Mission could not keep up with the times.

The government of India should formulate a favourable policy for the indigenous edible oils sector which benefits farmers, consumers and manufacturers equally. The objective underlying the creation of the commodity exchanges in India was to benefit farmers.

Unfortunately, since the majority of farmers do not transact through commodity exchanges, which was its prime objective, it has gone into the hands of speculators, which has artificially impacted the physical market. Hence, we require a regulator like SEBI, which can keep a watch on such malpractices.

For some time now, Puri Oil Mills Limited has been recommending the establishment of a Mustard Oil Development Board by the government. Largely, such a board can be modelled along the lines of the American Soybean Association or Spain’s International Olive Council that protects and promote the interests of olive and olive oil producers, or the Malaysian Palm Oil Board, established by the Malaysian government with the aim of promoting palm oil all over the world.

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The proposed Mustard Oil Development Board can play a pivotal role through research and development by developing value added products like the soya industry. Wikimedia Commons

The proposed Mustard Oil Development Board can play a pivotal role through research and development by developing value added products like the soya industry has done by developing soya protein, soya milk and soya nuggets, among others. Similarly, it can ensure an integrated approach to the development of the mustard industry by enhancing value addition across mustard-based products.

To conclude, Mustard Oil is an integral part of Indian agriculture, cuisine and culture. Such is the sanctity of Indian mustard oil that even our ancient treatises, find a mention of mustard’s virtues as a valuable food crop and for its medicinal properties. The medical and scientific fraternity has been rediscovering the significant health benefits offered by mustard oil.

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A series of studies have shown that it is the best edible oil for heart health in India, given the dietary habits, lifestyles and culinary practices prevalent across the country. Therefore, mustard seed and Indian mustard oil does not just have economic relevance but is also an integral part of India’s rich culinary heritage.

The Indian mustard oil industry hopes Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will take note of this in the Union Budget for 2020-21. (IANS)

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Tech Giant Apple to Release Smart Keyboard with Scissor Design in Year 2020

The iPhone SE 2 will use a 10-layer Substrate-like PCB (SLP) for its motherboard, the same technology used by the iPhone 11's version

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An Apple company logo is seen behind tree branches outside an Apple store in Beijing, Dec. 14, 2018. VOA

Apple is reportedly planning to introduce an updated Smart Keyboard with a scissor switch design alongside its next-generation iPad and iPad Pro models in 2020.

The iPhone maker introduced its scissor-switch keyboard design at the end of 2019 with the 16-inch MacBook Pro. Other MacBooks are also expected to get the keyboard in 2020, the Cult of Mac reported recently.

While, back in July 2019, known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that iPad keyboards would stick with a rubber dome design rather than scissor switches in 2020-21.

Kuo recently revealed that the iPhone maker is expected to release new iPad Pro models with rear 3D sensing in the first half of 2020.

Kuo in a research note with TF International Securities said the iPad Pro models will gain 3D sensing through the rear-facing camera system.

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The Apple logo is shown outside the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, California. VOA

As per report, Apple is expected to use a time-of-flight system, which measures the time that it takes for light to bounce off of objects in a room to generate a 3D map.

Additionally, Kuo also reiterated that Apple plans to release its low-cost iPhone “SE 2” in the first half of 2020 too.

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The iPhone SE 2 will use a 10-layer Substrate-like PCB (SLP) for its motherboard, the same technology used by the iPhone 11’s version.

Kuo expects the device to look similar to the iPhone 8 and believes it will be a popular upgrade option for existing iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S owners. (IANS)