Introduction

Oil and fats are major part of human diet, important source of energy and also play role in carrying different vitamins in body. Due to the rapid growth in population of Pakistan, requirement of oil has also been raised. So a gap is produced between need and production in Pakistan. Pakistan fulfilled its requirement of edible oil 0.462 million tonnes by domestic oil and 3.264 million tonnes by imported oil. Both conventional and non-conventional oilseed crops are important to fill the space between consumption and production. In Pakistan, more than a dozen crops are grown to extract vegetable oil from their seeds and these crops are termed as Oilseed Crops. Rapeseed-Mustard, Sesame and Linseed are traditional Oilseed crops. Canola, Sunflower, Soybean, Safflower and Olive are regarded as non-traditional Oilseed Crops as these were introduced in Pakistan from other countries. The Oil extracted from linseed, is mainly used for medicinal purposes while Canola, Rapeseed Mustard, Sunflower, Soybean, Safflower and Sesame Oil is used for nutritional purposes.

Status of Oilseeds in Punjab and Pakistan

Crops Area (000 ha) Production (000 tonnes)
Punjab Pakistan Punjab Pakistan
Rapeseed/ Mustard 130 214 146 216
Sunflower 22 141 37 169
Sesame 69 85 26 34

Source: Agricultural Statistics of Pakistan

The crop improvement work on oilseeds was started in 1926 with the establishment of an Oilseed Section in the Punjab Agri. College and Research Institute, Lyallpur. The research at that time was focused on conventional oilseed crops. The technological aspects of Oilseed crops were taken up in 1936 by establishing an oil technology laboratory in the oilseed section. The Research Work on groundnut was started at Oilseeds Research Substation, Rawalpindi in 1947 under Oilseeds Section. In 1975, Punjab Oilseeds Research system was strengthened by upgrading the Oilseeds Section to the status of Oilseeds Research Institute, Lyallpur and new crops like sunflower, soybean and safflower were added to the mandate of Oilseeds Research Institute. However in 1979, the control of Groundnut Research Sub-Station Rawalpindi was transferred from Oilseeds Research Institute, Faisalabad to the Barani Agriculture Research Institute, Chakwal after the up gradation as research station.

Mission & Objectives

The Institute has the following research objectives

  • Development of Oilseed varieties/hybrids having

  • High yield potential

  • Better  oil quality

  • Resistance against insect pests and diseases

  • Good adaptability in changing climate

  • Improvement in the production technologies for better yield.

  • Production and provision of pre-basic seed of approved oilseed varieties.

  • Promotion of oilseeds cultivation in the province through dissemination of technical information by print and electronic media to the farming community.

  • Identification of crop production issues due to biotic and abiotic stresses through field surveys/ farmer’s feed back.

  • Find scientific solutions for the problems /issues faced by growers.

Opportunities for Oilseeds Promotion

  • Intercropping of Canola with Sugarcane

  • Intercropping of Canola in Orchards (New plantation)

  • Grow Mustard Canola in water deficient areas

  • Replacement of Rapeseed & Mustard with Canola

  • Promotion of Rapeseed & Mustard in Pothohar

  • Replacement of late sown wheat with Spring Sunflower

  • Promotion of Sunflower in Cotton zone

  • Crop diversification through cultivation of Soybean

  • Promotion of Olive cultivation