Hyderabad : OPDPA (The Oil Palm Developers and Processors Association) welcomes the announcement by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi on taking up Oil Palm plantations aggressively in India to make India self-sufficient in edible oils. PM Modi announced a new national initiative on palm oil production on Monday to help increase Oil Palm Production in the country, thereby helping curtail imports and simultaneously increasing farmer income. The scheme, namely, National Edible Oil Mission-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP), for self-reliance in edible oil involves an investment of over Rs 11,000 crore towards Palm Oil development.
Through this announcement, the Government clearly places its emphasis on the Make In India and Atmanirbhar Bharat agenda which will make India self-sufficient in edible oils. The OPDPA has been requesting a significant policy change to push local Oil Palm cultivation and thanks to the PMs vision, the same has been accommodated.
The scheme, according to sources, is expected to incentivise the production of palm oil to reduce dependence on imports and help farmers cash in on the huge market availability for Oil Palm. The Centre plans to raise the domestic production of palm oil by three times to 11 lakh MT by 2025-26. This will involve raising the area under oil palm cultivation to 10 lakh hectares by 2025-26 and 16.7 lakh hectares by 2029-30.
The special emphasis of the scheme will be on India’s north-eastern states and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands due to the conducive weather conditions in the regions.
Commenting on the announcement made by the PM., Mr. Sanjay Goenka, President of OPDPA said, “The expanse of Oil Palm cultivation in the country is very negligible today as compared to the potential the crop possesses. We have seen the transformation this crop has brought about in the lives of the farmer community in Andhra Pradesh and we hope to emulate the same in the other potential states as well. A strong and robust, long-term policy mechanism will give this crop the required push across India. Given the new scheme National Edible Oil Mission-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP), India can truly achieve its goal of self-sufficiency in Edible Oils by pushing for development in the Oil Palm Plantation sector. While we await the detailed policy guidelines on this front, we appreciate the move by the Government of India and simultaneously assure our Honourable Prime Minister that all of us Processors at the Oil Palm Developers and Processors Association of India will strive hard to make his dream of self-reliance in Edible Oil come true.”
India is heavily dependent on imported edible oils, with nearly 15 million tonnes (or nearly 68%) of edible oils getting imported to meet the country’s annual requirement of about 22 million tonnes. Of the total 15 million tonnes of import, about 9 million tonnes (or nearly 60 percent) is palm oil and its derivatives.