Fats and oils are important ingredients of human food. In Pakistan, more than a dozen crops are grown to extract oil from their seeds and these crops are termed as Oilseed Crops. Rapeseed-Mustard, Sesame, Groundnut, Linseed and Castor are traditional oilseed crops. Sunflower, Soybean and Safflower are regarded as non-traditional Oilseed Crops as these were introduced in Pakistan from foreign countries. This institute is also conducting research on Jojoba plant, a shrub introduced in Pakistan from United States of America and its cultivation is being promoted in arid zones specially deserts of Southern Punjab. The Oil extracted from linseed, castor and jojoba is mainly used for industrial/medicinal purposes while Rapeseed Mustard, Sunflower, Soybean, Safflower, Sesame and groundnut Oil is used for nutritional purposes.
Pakistan is spending about 124 billion rupees on the import of edible oil and oilseeds every year. The local production is hardly 1/3rd of its requirements. Out of the total cropped area of 20.15 million hectares in Pakistan, Oilseed crops were grown on 0.748 million hectares during 2008-09. This comes to about 3.70 % of the total cropped area. The per capita edible oil consumption of Pakistan is Approximately 13.45 Kg/annum.