Union Minister for agriculture and farmers’ welfare Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday said the Centre’s decision to promote oil palm cultivation in northeastern states will turn the region into a hub of the agro commodity and help change the socio-economic status of farmers.
The minister said a special package for the NE states to enhance the acreage of oil palm will attract investment in the sector and create employment opportunities in edible oil mills.
The Centre has rolled out the National Mission on Edible Oils – Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) with an outlay of Rs 11,040 crore, and the programme will cover an additional area of 6.5 lakh hectares for oil palm till 2025-26, he said.
The NE states will cover 3.28 lakh hectares of the targeted additional area for oil palm cultivation under the centrally sponsored scheme to boost domestic production of edible oils, the minister said.
Addressing the NMEO-OP Business Summit in Guwahati, he emphasised the need for investments in seed development, drip irrigation, setting up of mills and training of farmers.
“The new scheme will pave the way to make India self-sufficient in edible oils,” the minister said.
He said the business event was organised to explore the scope for area expansion, seedling requirement fixed for states, viability gap funding, interventions and assistance under the mission.
The Centre is committed to protecting the interest of oil palm farmers through a price assurance mechanism, Tomar said.