Union Minister of Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar stated that the government intends to achieve Aatmanirbhar (self-sufficiency) in edible oil by increasing the area under oil palm cultivation to 28 lakh hectares from the current 3 lakh hectares.
‘Research findings have shown that approximately 28 lakh hectares of land are best suited for oil palm cultivation. It is our mission to convert that area to palm oil plantations,’ he stated.
He told a crowd after launching the National Mission on Edible Oil-Oil Palm Business Summit here on Tuesday that the government had signed agreements with nine state governments for viability gap funding and finalized revised Annual Action Plans for 11 states.
Guwahati and Hyderabad summit
The Hyderabad summit followed the Guwahati summit in October, which focused on the development of oil palm in the northeastern states.
He stated that the government’s goal was to achieve self-sufficiency in edible oils and that there would be no shortage of resources to ensure the successful implementation of the National Mission on Edible Oil – Oil Palm.
Taking care of farmer concerns
He stated that four processing mills will be established in the North-East region with Mission assistance. Three seed gardens and 39 nurseries will also be established.
Mr. Sanjay Agarwal the Union Agriculture Secretary, stated that the Mission was meticulously planned and prepared to address the issues affecting farmers, processors, and state governments.
‘A major emphasis has been placed on ensuring the supply of planting material, timely procurement by processors, and a remunerative price for fresh fruit bunches to farmers,’ he explained.
He explained that potential regions identified based on land and climatic conditions were capable of producing higher oil palm yields while minimizing environmental impact.