Ethanol blending crucial to cut oil imports but doubling it will hurt India’s food security

In 2022, close to 1 million metric tonnes of rice from the Food Corporation of India’s stocks was sold at subsidised prices to produce ethanol. As per the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, this rice was fit for human consumption. Similar diversions of crops to produce ethanol have been happening in the open markets for rice, maize and sugarcane in the country, where food and feed processors (and food consumers) are competing with oil manufacturing companies for grains.

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