20.01.2021 (www.thehansindia.com) - Rajendranagar: With an aim to promote oil palm cultivation in the State, the Telangana government notified an additional potential area of 3.29 lakh hectares i.e 8.14 lakh acres in 25 districts of Telangana apart from already notified areas. To begin with, the government has sowed the seeds of idea especially in the eastern region of the State in order to paddle its own canoe in oil palm production.
The government has notified almost 3,29,665 hectares (8.14 lakh acres) of land in 25 districts in the State to promote palm oil cultivation as a better alternative to paddy farming. "Out of the 25 districts identified for promotion of palm cultivation, a total of four districts such as Khammam, Kothagudem, Nalgonda and Suryapet an area of 19,520 hectares i.e 48,806 acres of land has been prepared to cultivate palm fields. This has been amplified with two processing units of capacity of 30 tonnes per hour each at Ashwaraopet and Apparaopet villages in Dammapet mandal of Bhadradri Kothagudem District," informed Director of Horticultulture and Sericulture L Venkatram Reddy to The Hans India. Explaining that the Telangana State stands 6th in the field of oil palm cultivation in the country – second in production of Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFB) and first in Oil Extraction Rate (OER) with 18.68 percent, he said, "Presently the state production of crude palm oil is only around 38,000 MT against the requirement of 3.66 lakh MT. To meet the gap an area of 2.5 lakh acres needs to be brought under palm cultivation."
Elucidating the advantage of oil palm cultivation, he said, "It provides sustainable and remunerative income for as long as 25-30 years with highest yield per unit area compared to the other oil seed crops. It also carried fewer incidences of pests and diseases coupled with low input cost. More importantly, this crop is covered by buy-back arrangement provision under Oil palm Act, 1993." The farmers can realize an amount of Rs 1,20,000 to Rs.1,50,000 per acre with an average FFB (Fresh Fruit Bunches) price of Rs.10,000 per tonne.
Summoning up the farmers to take up oil palm cultivation, the Director of Horticultulture and Sericulture L Venkatram Reddy said, "Government is providing assistance for taking up oil palm cultivation under centrally sponsored scheme National Food Security Mission – Oil palm with a ratio of 60:40 between the Centre and the State. Under this scheme 50% assistance is provided on plant material, cultivation assistance etc."