Business Summit on National Mission on Edible Oils-Oil Palm in NE states held in Guwahati.
The union minister of agriculture & farmers welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar asserted that the government’s decision for making major intervention in Northeastern states for oil palm promotion will turn NE states into an oil palm hub of the country.
National Mission on Edible Oil- Oil Palm Business Summit for North Eastern States was held at Guwahati Tuesday. Keeping in view the vision of the Prime Minister for holistic and balanced progress of Northeast, the conference began under the chairmanship of the union agriculture minister with the watering of the oil palm plant and showcasing of a film on oil palm plantation, according to official sources.
Union minister Tomar emphasized on playing an equal role for the development of the crop and assured to make major investments for seed nursery, drip irrigation, technical back up, setting of mills, purchase centers 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 requirements fixed for different states through processors, details of viability gap payment,interventions and assistance under the mission.
Union minister Tomar informed that the mission with a total outlay of Rs 11,040 crore will bring additional area of 6.5 lakh hectares under oil palm plantation with 3.28 lakh hectares in Northeastern states and 3.22 in rest of India in 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 ‘Atma Nirbharta’. He stated that the government is committed to protect the oil palm farmers through the 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. He assured that under the mission, oil palm farmers will be provided all needed assistance.
Union minister (DoNER) G Kishan Reddy, appreciated 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 as for 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 Northeastern region which has immense potential for the agricultural sector, especially palm oil.
Secretary Agriculture Sanjay Agarwal set the tone for the summit by outlining the vision of the government and secretary DARE Dr. T. Mohapatra explained in detail the role of R&D for the success of the mission. Shubha Thakur, joint secretary gave a presentation on the outline of the mission. She explained in detail regarding the viability gap funding and assured price to the farmers.
Certificates for FPOs formed by NABARD were distributed and an MOU was signed with ABPRL and Numaligarh Refinery to establish the first-of-its-kind bio refinery in India to produce renewable green fuel bio ethanol.
In the Summit, books titled “Glimpses of NMEO-Oil Palm in NE States” by Oilseeds Division, DA&FW and “Improved Management Practices of the Oil Palm Cultivation in NE States” by ICAR-IIOPR and Assessment Report were released.
All the major oil palm players, viz Godrej Agrovet, Ruchi Soya, Shivaisis and 3 F oil palm were present for the Summit. 3 F oil palm and Ruchi Soya have committed to setting up mills in Arunachal Pradesh over the next year. Ruchi Soya also will set up an oil palm mill in Mizoram. 3 F oil palm mentioned they would invest around 1,200 core. All processors mentioned that they would work with the state governments and farmers. Progressive farmers from the NE states along with Telangana and Andhra Pradesh appreciated the new scheme and mentioned it has reinvigorated interest in oil palm farmers.
Arunachal Pradesh chief minister 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 Northeast, he said.
Agriculture minister, Government of Assam Atul Bora informed that presently farmers in two districts of Assam — Goalpara and Kamrup – are engaged in oil palm cultivation while there is a plan of bringing 1500 hectares of lands in another 17 districts under palm oil cultivation.
Union MoS of agriculture & farmers welfare Kailash Choudhary and Sushri Sobha Karandlaje, MoS of DoNER BL Verma and CM 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 Secretary GoI 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 leading processors from oil palm industry, progressive farmers and potential investors from the agri-business trade were present in the summit.