North Eastern states will turn into an oil palm hub of the country, says Shri Tomar
National Mission on Edible Oil- Oil Palm Business Summit for the North Eastern States was held at Guwahati Today. Keeping in view the vision of the Prime minister for holistic and balanced progress of North East, the conference began under the chairmanship of the Union Agriculture Minister Shri Narendra Singh Tomar with the watering of the oil palm plant and showcasing of a film on an oil palm plantation.
The Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar asserted that the Government’s decision for making major intervention in North-Eastern states for oil palm promotion will turnNE states into the oil palm hub of the country. Shri Tomaremphasized on playing an equal role in the development of the crop and was assured to make major investments for seed nurseries, drip irrigation, technical back up, set of mills, purchase centres and training of farmers. Special package and assistance for NE states will change the socio-economic status of the farmers and will open employment opportunities in the established oil palm mills along with infrastructure development, said the Union Agriculture Minister.
The Union Minister also informed that the business summit has been aimed to explore the target of area expansion, seedling requirement fixed for different states through processors, details of viability gap payment, interventions and assistance under the mission.
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Shri Tomar informed that the Mission with a total outlay of Rs 11040 crore will bring an additional area of 6.5 lakh hectors under Oil Palm plantation with 3.28 lakh hectors in North-Eastern states and 3.22 in the Rest of India in the next 5 years.
The Union Agriculture Minister thanked the government of Assam for providing logistical support and mentioned that the new scheme will definitely pave the way towards self-sufficiency in edible oils and put India on a road of Aatmarnirbharta. He stated that the Government is committed to protecting the oil palm farmers through price assurance and was happy to see the huge turnout for the summit. He expressed happiness with the format and mentioned that this type of exchange helps to speed up the implementation of NMEO-Oil Palm. Shri Tomar assured that under the Mission, oil palm farmers will be provided with all needed assistance.
Shri G Kishan Reddy, Union Minister, DoNERappreciated the vision of the Government of India for coming up with the very well planned Edible Palm Oil scheme which is a win-win for the farmers and as well for the development of the region. The DoNER Minister said that the Narendra Modi Government is committed to the development of the oil palm sector and requested investors and industrialists to invest in the North-Eastern region which has immense potentials for the agricultural sector, especially palm oil.
Secretary AgricultureShri Sanjay Agarwal set the tone for the summit by outlining the vision of the government and Secretary DAREDr. T. Mohapatra explained in detail the role of R&D in the success of the mission. Smt Shubha Thakur, Joint Secretary gave a presentation on the outline of the mission. She explained in detail the viability gap funding and assured price to the farmers.
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Certificates for FPOs formed by NABARD were distributed and an MOU was signed with ABPRL andNumaligarh Refinery to establish the first-of-its-kind biorefinery in India to produce renewable green fuel bioethanol. In the Summit, books titled “Glimpses of NMEO-Oil Palm in the NE States” by Oilseeds Division, DA&FW and “Improved Management Practices of the Oil Palm Cultivation in the NE States” by ICAR-IIOPR and Assessment Report were released.
Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Pema Khandu, in his speech, said that it was time for investors to come and invest in NE in a big way to develop the agriculture sector, taking advantage of fertile lands and climate. Palm oil holds special significance as its cultivation can open up untapped avenues of earning for farmers in the North East, he said.
Agriculture Minister, Govt. of Assam Atul Bora informed that presently farmers in two districts of Assam -Goalparaand Kamrup– are engaged in oil palm cultivation while there is a plan of bringing 1500 hector of lands in another 17 districtsunderpalm oil cultivation.
Union MoS of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Sri Kailash Choudhary and SushriSobhaKarandlaje, MoS of DoNER Shri B. L. Verma and Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Shri. Pema Khandu attended the National Summit.
Minister of Agriculture, Sikkim Shri Loknath Sharma, Chief Secretary, Government of Assam Shri JishnuBarua, Chief Secretary, Government of Arunachal Pradesh Shri Naresh Kumar, Principal Secretaries of the states, Smt Shubha Thakur, Joint SecretaryGoI and other officials of the state governments, Officers from the Ministry of Agriculture, Govt of India, NITI Ayog, ICAR institutions, MEA, Vice-Chancellors, Officers from SBI and Indian Tea Association, leading processors from oil palm industry, progressive farmers and potential investors from the agri-business trade were present in the summit.
Dislciamer : This is an official press release by PIB.