KARACHI: Pakistan is wasting millions of dollar in the import of Edible oil and its seeds by ignoring this sector in the budget 2016-17. The consumptions of Edible oil are growing three per cent annually throughout the country.

The government should promote edible oil sector through intervention which will help Pakistan to save $2.5 billion annually. The government has announced incentives for the agriculture sector in the budget but the edible oil sector has been ignored which is discouraging, the businessmen said.

Edible oil production can help country saving $2.5 billion while providing jobs to many jobless farmers if the government announce incentives for this sector.

Edible oil imports are now second largest after fossil fuel in which palm oil enjoys 90 percent share because farmers are at the mercy of middlemen which is the biggest reason behind lack of interest by growers, he said.

Self-reliance is possible if land under cultivation is increased, support price is offered, and the coastal belt of Sindh and Balochistan are utilised for production.

The government should enhanced research and development, subsidy on inputs, interest-free loans gradual increase duty of imports, employing better technology, improving capacity of grinding mills and empowering Pakistan Oil seed Development Board.

40 to 48 percent oil could be extracted from sunflower, 32 percent from rapeseed while 10 to 12 percent could be obtained from cottonseed.