Need long-term policy to boost oil palm cultivation, reduce imports: OPDPA

For instance, 3F Oil Palm -- currently operating in Arunachal Pradesh -- has already covered over 5,000 acres of area under oil palm in the lower Debang Valley district.
A long-term policy is required to encourage oil palm cultivation in India as the country is currently dependent on imports, processors' body OPDPA said on Tuesday.

The Oil Palm Developers And Processors Association (OPDPA) said there is a huge scope for oil palm cultivation in North Eastern region, with Arunachal Pradesh and Assam alone having the potential to cover 200,000 hectares under oil palm.

"A strong and robust long-term policy mechanism needs to be introduced to give this crop the required push across India," OPDPA President Sanjay Goenka said in a statement.

The industry is in need of several reforms to maintain its viability and attract further investments in various states, he said, adding that the Association has been aggressively pursuing the government to bring in structural policy changes.

Currently, oil palm cultivation in the country is very negligible as compared to the potential the crop possesses. But the crop has brought a transformation in the lives of farmers in Andhra Pradesh, and the same can be emulated in northeastern states as well, Goenka said.

Oil palm crop is a highly remunerative crop that has the potential to provide the highest return on investment per acre compared to other commercial crops. Farmers in Andhra Pradesh are a living testimony to the far-reaching benefits of this crop for their livelihoods and future, the Association said.

It said its members have already set up a base and are working closely with North Eastern state governments for creating awareness on the benefits of the crop.

For instance, 3F Oil Palm -- currently operating in Arunachal Pradesh -- has already covered over 5,000 acres of area under oil palm in the lower Debang Valley district.

Besides, there are plans to set up a state-of-the-art processing facility with a captive power plant, it said.

India is heavily dependent on imported edible oils. Of the total 15 million tonnes of import, about 9 million tonnes (or nearly 60 per cent) is of palm oils.



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