- NET Web Desk
Chief Minister Pema Khandu today informed at Guwahati, Assam, that the roadmap for implementation of the ambitious National Mission on Edible Oils-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) has been finalized and the state government will be implementing it on the ground soon.
He was speaking at the ‘Business Summit for the North Eastern States on the national mission at Guwahati. He added that Arunachal Pradesh, geographically the largest state in North East, has about 1.33 lakh hectares of land feasible for oil palm cultivation as assessed by a central team in 2019.
“Based on the assessment, we have identified the lands, farmers and developers. We will go full swing in implementing the mission very soon,” Khandu said.
He termed the summit as a game-changer for North Easter and hailed the government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi for focusing on sectors with the potential to usher accelerated development in the region.
Khandu informed that Arunachal Pradesh is not new to oil palm cultivation. He said the state has already about 4250 hectares under oil palm cultivation. The scheme implemented years ago was left unattended due to a lack of handholding of farmers.
Arunachal is ready for #OilPalm cultivation in large scale with atleast 1.33 lakh ha of land being identified.
Besides support of the recently launched National Mission on Edible Oils, establishment of a regional/zonal centre in the State for oil palm research would be helpful. pic.twitter.com/SpBRvUjEZl
— Pema Khandu པདྨ་མཁའ་འགྲོ་། (@PemaKhanduBJP) October 5, 2021
“Farmers didn’t expand their cultivation saying there were no processing factories while the private companies said without expansion of cultivation sites establishment of factories wasn’t feasible. This cost the earlier scheme. But under the new National Mission things have changed. Under it both our farmers and private investors will be in a win-win situation,” he explained.
Like other participants, Khandu also sought support from the central government on the procurement of quality seeds and fertilizers at subsidized rates. He also requested for the establishment of a zonal or regional level research center on oil palm in Arunachal Pradesh.
Meanwhile, countering the anti-oil palm school of thoughts, Khandu urged the experts, social media influencers, and journalists to ‘get the facts right’ and pass the ‘right information to the masses instead of propagating the ‘unfounded misinformation’ on the effects of oil palm cultivation being circulated mostly through social media.
Hosted by the Assam Agriculture department the summit was chaired by Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar along with Union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) G. Kishan Reddy.
It was attended by Minister of State (MoS) for DoNER, BL Verma; Minister of State (MoS) for Agriculture, Shobha Karandlaje; Minister of State (MoS) for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Kailash Choudhary, Agriculture Ministers from NE states, and other dignitaries.
The summit stressed the growth of agriculture in the North East with special emphasis on the sectors like oil palm, bamboo development, and many others.
During the event, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also signed for Bamboo FPO Agreement.
Besides, certificates were also distributed to Farmers Producers Organizations (FPOs), an initiative to encourage the farmers for the push of Palm Oil cultivation.
A total of 28 lakh hectares of land is said to be available across the nation for palm oil cultivation. Out of these, 9.62 lakh hectares are available in the Northeast alone.
Rs.11 thousand crores have been earmarked for the National Edible Oil Mission-Oil Palms.