Aim to make India' Aatmanirbhar' in edible oil: Tomar

Photo- PIB

Aim to make India' Aatmanirbhar' in edible oil: Tomar

Fresh Fruit Bunches produced by farmers will be procured as per simple and transparent formula by processors

The National Mission on Edible Oil- Oil Palm Business Summit for states other than the North Eastern States was inaugurated in Hyderabad today by the Union Minister of Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar. Aiming to give widespread information on the newly launched centrally sponsored scheme on edible oils, the Government is organizing business summits across the country. This is the second such summit of the Mission, the first was held in Guwahati for North Eastern states in early October this year.

Addressing the Business Summit, the Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar assured all the state governments that there will be no shortage of resources to successfully implement the National Mission on Edible Oil – Oil Palm. Tomar said that under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi, the Government wants to make India self-reliant in palm oil. "Currently about 3 lakh hectares of land is under palm oil cultivation while studies have shown that about 28 lakh hectares of land are suitable for the country's oil palm cultivation. It is our Mission to bring 28-lakh hectares of land under cultivation to make India Aatmanirbhar in edible oil," said Tomar.

Appreciating the efforts made by the Government of Telangana to increase palm oil production, Tomar said that he sees Telangana as an emerging leader in oil palm production. Talking about the scope of natural farming in the State, he called upon the State Government to adopt and promote natural farming to reduce the production cost without hampering production.

Tomar expressed happiness at the National Mission on Edible Oils – Oil Palm since the first Business Summit. The Centre has signed MoU with nine state governments for Viability Gap Payment, finalized revised Annual Action Plans of 11 states incorporating new provisions of Mission and organized National Workshop on Oil Palm in Arunachal Pradesh as sub-theme of Crop Diversification Programme. AAPs of 11 eleven states worth Rs 106.90 crore were approved for area expansion in 6563 ha, replanting 3058 ha maintenance and intercropping in 25197 ha of existing and new oil palm orchards and drip irrigation facility in 1569 ha of palm orchards. 4 Processing Mills will be established in NE states with subsidy from the Mission. In addition, 3 seed gardens and 39 nurseries will be created for increasing the availability of seed sprouts and seedlings. Vermicompost sheds (360 nos) for production of quality organic manure and custom hiring centers (18 nos) for renting garden tools will also be made operational in the current year. Further, a meeting was held with Indian Ambassadors of major oil palm sprouts exporting countries to ensure an uninterrupted supply of quality planting materials in large quantities.

Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Kailash Choudhary said, "At present, we have to import edible oil. Today's business summit will prove to be important to find a solution to this import." Expressing his confidence in Mission, he said that with the help of scientists' research, farmers' hard work and the Government's support, this Mission will achieve its target and make a significant contribution in making India self-reliant. He added that to boost the edible oils' production, remunerative prices and assured procurement of oilseed crops are being done by the Government.

S Niranjan Reddy, Minister of Agriculture and allied Sectors, Govt of Telangana highlighted Telangana Govt's effort to promote oil palm plantation in the state and provide higher price to farmers for the FFBs (Fresh Fruit Bunches) of oil palm. Telangana state has drawn an ambitious plan for oil palm expansion. P Prasad, Minister of Agriculture, Govt of Kerala, shared that the Kerala government is also emphasizing the on the promotion of oil palm in the state.

Distribution of registration certificates for the Farmer Producing Organizations (FPOs) were also done on occasion.

Earlier, Secretary Agriculture Sanjay Agarwal set the tone for the summit by outlining the vision of the Government. The Mission has been planned very meticulously to address the issues affecting farmers, processors and state government. Major emphasis has been given on arranging supply of planting material, timely procurement by processors and remunerative price for FFBs (Fresh Fruit Bunches) to farmers. He explained that potential regions delineated based on land and climatic conditions can produce higher yields of oil palm without any adverse impact on the environment. Intercropping other crops with oil palm will further conserve soil and water and sequester more carbon to mitigate climate change.

Chief Secretary of Telangana, Somesh Kumar, expressed hope that the state would emerge as the largest oil-palm producing area in the country in 3-4 years. He outlined the state initiatives, saying that Telangana has notified 26 districts for oil palm cultivation and 11 oil processors are operating in the state. The 5 lakh hectares' plantation targets have been set for 2022-23.

Indent has been placed for 324 lakh seed sprouts and 1045 hectare's land procured for seed nursery and 23 nurseries have been established.

Shubha Thakur, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Principal Secretaries of the other states, officials of the state governments, officers from the Ministry of Agriculture, Govt of India, NITI Ayog, ICAR institutions, MEA, Vice-Chancellors, officers from SBI, NABARD, NAFED, Solvent Extraction Association (SEA), leading processors from oil palm industry, progressive farmers and potential investors from the agri-business trade participated in the summit.

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