The country imports about 0.6 million tonnes of edible oil every year as the annual domestic consumption is about one million tonnes, said Myint Kyu, chair of Myanmar Edible Oil Dealers Association.
The Myanmar Private Sector Development Committee led by Vice-President-1 Myint Swe held talks with local oil millers and entrepreneurs.
The annual edible oil production is about 0.4 million tonnes. The country imports edible sunflower, soya bean oil. Oil crop sown acreage accounts for about 16 per cent (7.5 million acres) of the total sown acreages. The total oil crops production ranges between 12 million tonnes and 14 million tonnes. Myanmar is the sesame top producer in the world and is ranked 6th in the groundnut production. Local consumption is not enough if the country produces over 0.5 million tonne of all sesame and groundnut, Myint Kyu said.
He also called on the government to put oil crops on the priority list in drafting a master plan for agriculture, assisting growers, ensuring the availability of quality strains and agricultural technology and arranging study tours.
The country has no sufficient oil crops even if there is oversea demand. Oil crops are the most suitable ones to grow as the price for oil crops is over US$ 1,800 per tonne at the international markets, he added
He also called for stern actions against those who distribute and sell sub-standard edible oils after the enactment of law that bans the use of chemicals and the crackdown on the import of oils via illegal trade routes.
Khin Soe, the chair of Myanmar Oil Millers Association said: “About 80 per cent of edible oils in the local market are mixed oils and only less than five per cent is real. There are 169 heavy oil mills, 987 medium oil mills and 1987 small oil mills. Only 10 per cent of oil mills can operate at full capacity.