– NET Web Desk
Attending a virtual conference of the union Agriculture ministry chaired by its Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Arunachal Chief Minister Pema Khandu appreciated the Centre’s push for oil palm cultivation in a mission mode,
Khandu informed that as per a survey conducted by a central team in 2019, Arunachal Pradesh possesses at least 1.33 lac hr of land feasible for oil palm cultivation in a commercial way.
“We assure everybody that this surveyed land does not fall under forest land category but are unused wastelands,” he disclosed.
Khandu further said that as per records only about 5000 hr has been used for oil palm cultivation, most of which at the moment are abandoned. He said with the renewed intention and planning of the central government this can be revived for doubling the income of farmers by ensuring an assured market.
Praising Centre’s Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) Kandu commented that it will be a game-changer for the agriculture sector in the country.
In recent years, under PM @narendramodi Ji, improved connectivity in Arunachal has opened up scopes for farmers, turning agriculture into viable economic activity.
— Pema Khandu པདྨ་མཁའ་འགྲོ་། (@PemaKhanduBJP) September 7, 2021
“Agriculture as a viable sector in the state is still in a nascent stage mostly due to the state’s geographical factors. However, in recent years connectivity has opened up scopes for farmers and is turning agriculture into a viable economic activity,” he said.
Khandu requested the ministry to handhold the state in establishing cold-chain facilities across the state under the AIF. He reasoned that due to the state’s vast geographical area, cultivable pockets are far and wide that calls for a robust cold-chain network to transport and preserve agriculture, as well as horticulture, produces.
Chairing the conference, Tomar informed that under the AIF, the government focuses on five key areas to bring transformative change in the agriculture sector that would be commercially profitable for farmers.
The key areas are – Infrastructure and Logistics that has a facility of Rs 1 lakh crore set up to support farmers, FPOs, start-ups, state agencies, APMCs, etc; Agriculture Produce Export which includes identification of export clusters, certification, and primary processing for export quality products and cooperation between central and state agencies; Self-sufficiency Pulses and Edible Oil that includes mission mode approach for increasing production and productivity of pulses and oilseeds and Oil Palm Mission; Digital Access that targets linking of farmers database to state land record system, accurate and digital recording of crops and agristack for smart and precision agriculture; and Direct Income Support and Credit Availability for direct cash benefit under PM-KISAN and saturation drive for Kisan Credit Cards.
The conference was also addressed by the Union Minister of Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goyal and chief ministers of 11 states.