- NET Web Desk
The Manipur Government is planning to host a high-level symposium on May 30 to promote oil palm plantation in Manipur and educate the general public about the importance of ‘National Mission on Oil Seed & Oil Palm’.
The decision was made in response to environmentalists’ concerns about the potential negative environmental repercussions of oil palm growth on the ecologically vulnerable and biodiversity hotspot – Northeast India.
A total of 9,67,981 hectares of land in North East have been designated as possible locations for oil palm plantation during Phase-I and II. However, cultivation of oil palms has commenced at 38,922 hectares.
According to The Frontier Manipur report, the Consultant Oil Palm Mission Manipur – MS Khaidem informed that the Agriculture Ministry has identified 66,652 hectares in six districts of Manipur as potential areas for oil palm cultivation.
The six districts are – Imphal West (14,516 hectares), Thoubal (18,475 hectares), Bishnupur (10,389 hectares), Churachandpur (11,662 hectares), Chandel (6,803 hectares) and Ukhrul (4,808 hectares).
In addition to these potential areas, the State Level Standing Committee has identified another 7,715 hectares for plantation in Jiribam District of Manipur, where Arecanut and Coconuts, which belong to the same family of Oil Palm, are already cultivated commercially by the district’s farmers, he added.
Therefore, Manipur will be the 22nd state in India to execute the Oil Palm Project, he noted.
Its worthy to note that on August 18, 2021, the Union Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval to launch a new Mission on Oil palm named as National Mission on Edible Oils – Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) as a new Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
The scheme have put special focus on Northeast region with a pegged outlay of Rs. 11,040 crore. It has been formulated to boost palm oil production in the country and reduce dependence on edible oil imports.
The North-Eastern Region alone receives a target of 5850 crores, generating a revolution in this sector across the region, hence providing employment possibilities and focusing on the overall development of these regions.