Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao has approved Rs 4800 crore Oil Palm Crop Extension Project for farmers in Telangana.

The CM said that farmers would be given 50 per cent subsidy to cultivate the Oil Palm in the State. He said Oil palm cultivation is possible only in the areas where there is the continuous availability of water for cultivation.

Due to the increase in irrigation water facility and 24x7 uninterrupted power supply in the State, the CM urged the farmers to utilize the opportunity and go in for oil palm cultivation in a big way. The CM disclosed that the National Reassessment Committee of Government of India had identified 25 districts in the State as convenient for cultivating the Oil Palm.

The CM was chairing a review meeting to increase Oil Palm cultivation in the State on Monday at Pragathi Bhavan. Agriculture Minister Niranjan Reddy, Principal Secretary Janardhan Reddy, Horticulture Corporation MD Venktramreddy, Seed Corporation MD Keshavulu participated in the meeting.

Highlights of Oil Palm Project:

--With the water that is needed to cultivate one acre Paddy, Oil Palm can be cultivated in 4 acres.

--As on date, the paddy stocks are more than what is required in the country. Hence it is better to cultivate Oil Palm as an alternative to the Paddy.

--Our country needs 22 Million tonnes of edible oil. But Oil Seeds are produced in the country to make 7 Million Tonnes of Oil. We are importing every year 15 million tonnes of edible oil. This is costing the country every year Rs 70,000 Crore of foreign exchange. Since we are importing edible oil, there is every risk of the imported oil getting contaminated.

--As on date Oil Palm is cultivated in 8 Lakh acres only in the country. There is every opportunity and need to increase Oil Palm cultivation. In Telangana State itself, Oil Palm should be cultivated in 8 Lakh acres.

--Though oil Palm requires less water than the Paddy but it should be watered every day. There is a lot of increase in the irrigated water availability and 24-hour power supply in the state. Hence the central government and its agencies identified the State as an ideal destination for Oil Palm cultivation.

--As on date Oil Palm is cultivated on 38,000 acres in Khammam, Nalgonda, and Suryapet districts.

--It was decided to cultivate Oil Palm in 8,14,270 Acres in Nirmal, Mahabubabad, Kamareddy, Warangal Rural, Nizamabad, Siddipet, Bhoopalpally, Peddapally, Karimnagar, Adilabad, Jagtial, Mancherial, Asifabad, Suryapet, Jangaon, Mulugu, Nalgonda, Warangal urban, Wanaparthy, Nagar Kurnool, Narayanpet, Sircilla, Gadwal, Mahboobnagar, Kothagudem districts.

--Intercrop can be cultivated for three years. Oil Palm yield would come from the fourth year. Each Oil Palm tree gives a yield for 30 years. Cocoa can be cultivated as an intercrop. Tissue culture Teak and Sri Gandham plants can be grown on the land boundaries.

--Of all the Oilseeds, Oil Palm gives more oil. Each acre gives about 10 to 12 Tonnes of Bunches.

--Farmers would get an assured income of Rs one Lakh per acre.

--For the first 4 years the expenditure would be Rs 60,000 per acres and the government subsidy would be 50 percent of it.

--The Oil Palm crops will not have any problem with Monkeys, Wild Boar, and storms or hail storms.

--One family can supervise and monitor 30 to 40 acres of Oil Palm farming.

--Oil Palm trees inhale more Carbon Dioxide and exhale more Oxygen.

--The Act mandates that the Oil Palm yield should be purchased from the farmers at the MSP.

--As of date, the price of Oil Palm is Rs 12,800 per tonne.

--Along with the State Oilfed Corporation, several national and international companies are coming forward to set up Oil Palm Nurseries and Processing Plants at their cost. Oil Palm cultivating lands would be formed into Zones and handed over to the companies.

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