The Hindu (12/03/2020) The State government has announced its resolve to promote oil palm cultivation in different parts of the State.
The government, after study by experts, has identified 2.78 lakh hectares potential area for oil palm cultivation in 249 mandals spread across 23 districts. Agriculture Minister S. Niranjan Reddy told the Legislative Assembly on Thursday. Replying to queries during the Question Hour, the Minister said given the drought situation that was prevailing in the erstwhile united State, oil palm cultivation was considered unfeasible.
But the situation changed significantly since the formation of separate State and a team of experts deputed by the Central government had confirmed that 2.78 lakh hectares land spread in different districts was suitable for taking up oil palm cultivation. The national requirement for edible oil was estimated at 21 million tonne every year while the domestic production was to the tune of around 7 million tonne.
As a result, the country was forced to import the remaining quantum of edible oil that imposed huge costs, approximately ₹75,000 crore, on the ex-chequer. The government had accordingly decided to promote oil palm cultivation as it would ensure returns to farmers.
Farmers would be in a position to secure at least ₹ 16,000 a tonne of oil palm which registered yield of over 20 tonne in every acre. Oil palm was no doubt a long gestation crop, but farmers could opt for intermediate crops that would fetch them income in addition to the assured returns from the main crop.
Going by the potential for oil palm cultivation in Telangana, the Central government had permitted to take up expansion of oil palm in 18,100 ha in the new districts on a pilot basis. In addition to its resistance to pests and other natural calamities like hail storm, oil palm had environmental benefits too because of its high carbon dioxide absorbing nature. The crop would require less water as compared to the water-intensive paddy and it could be cultivated through drip irrigation.
Read more at https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/oil-palm-cultivation-to-be-taken-up-in-278-lakh-ha/article31053419.ece