Hyderabad: Telangana State is one the potential States for oil palm cultivation in the country. An area of 18,932 hectares is covered so far under oil palm cultivated by 9,810 beneficiaries in 47 mandals of Khammam, Kothagudem, Nalgonda and Suryapet districts.
To identify the potential area in the State of Telangana, the Agri-Horticultural Society, Hyderabad was awarded with the project to take up study for preparation of feasibility report for oil palm cultivation in the State. Besides this, Ruchi Soya Industries has also conducted a feasibility study. Accordingly an area of 2.78 lakh hectares in 206 mandals of 18 districts have been identified that have potential for oil palm.
Three mandals in Adilabad, 13 in Nirmal, 15 in Mancherial, 15 in Asifabad, 12 in Karimnagar, 13 in Jagtial, 13 in Peddapalli, 7 in Rajanna Sircilla, 7 in Warangal urban, 16 in Warangal rural, 20 in Bhupalpally, 6 in Janagaon, 15 in Mahbubabad, 7 in Kothagudem, 13 in Nalgonda, 9 in Suryapet, 9 in Nizamabad and 13 in Kamareddy were identified with over 2,78,825 hectares of newly identified potential.
Government of India has launched National Mission on Oil Seeds & Oil Palm (NMOOP) during 2014-15 to encourage oil palm cultivation in the country. The scheme is being implemented with 60:40 funding pattern between Central and State Governments. Telangana is the second largest producer of palm kernels in the country with an annual production of 80,000 tonnes, even though the State could produce 1.8 lakh tonnes of oil palm out of the 3 lakh tonnes of oil seeds produced in the State. However palm cultivation is limited to 50,000 acres in the State mostly restricted to Khammam, Kothagudem, Nalgonda and Suryapet districts.
It is estimated that Telangana requires 6.4 lakh metric tonnes of oil considering the per capita consumption of 16 kilograms of oil by the 4 crore population of the State. The experts opined that by increasing acreage by one lakh acres will reduce import of oils to the extent of 60%.
Cultivation begins in 285 acres in Mahabubabad
Oil palm plantation was already done in 285 acres against the total of 305 acres proposed for this year in the district. It may be recalled here that the State government had decided to cultivate the oil palm on pilot basis in the district.
Speaking to Telangana Today, District Horticulture and Sericulture Officer K Suryanarayana said that the plantation in the remaining 20 acres would also be completed soon after the ending of the rains.
The oil palm cultivation was mainly taken up in Kuravi, Nellikurdu, Dornakal and Thorrur mandals in the district. The oil palm factory, Aswaraopet, in Kothagudem district, which is located about 130 km from here, would purchase the produce from the oil palm farmers in the district. “After four years, a farmer can get 10 to 15 tonnes of oil palm pods per year in an acre.
As the price per tonne is Rs 8500 to Rs 9,000, the farmer can make more than one lakh income on an acre. After deducting the expenditure, the farmer can make a profit of at least Rs 70,000 to Rs 80,000 per acre,” Suryanarayana said and added that the farmers can also get additional income by growing the cocoa as inter-crop. It is said that the factory will purchase the oil palm produce by bearing the transportation cost.
Meanwhile, the oil palm can be cultivated in 65,000 acres in the district in the coming 10 to 15 years, according to the official estimates.
On the other hand, the State government estimated that oil palm cultivation can be taken up in 23,000 acres in Warangal Urban and 44,500 acres in Warangal Rural district, said District Horticulture and Sericulture Officer R Srinivas Rao.
In Jangaon, the officials estimated that oil palm can be cultivated in 14,000 to 18,000 acres, said District Horticulture and Sericulture Officer KR Latha. Meanwhile, officials estimated that oil palm can be cultivated in nearly 30,000 acres in Jayashankar Bhupalpalli and Mulugu districts.
Horticulture dept encourage ryots to take up cultivation
Suryapet: Oil farm cultivation was taken up by the farmers in 600 acres in Nalgonda district and 300 acres Suryapet district. In addition to this, an action plan was prepared by the horticulture department for cultivation of oil farms in another 500 acres in Suryapet district.
Under Rastriya Krishi Vikas Yojana – National Mission on Oil Seeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP), which was Centre sponsored scheme, the Horticulture department was encouraging the farmers to take up cultivation of oil palm by extending subsidy. Telangana State Cooperative Oil Seeds Growers Federation (OILFED) and Ruchi Soya Company were acting as facilitators in implementation of the mission in Suryapet district. In Nalgonda district, oil farm cultivation was taken up by the farmers under the supervision of Ruchi Soya Company only.
Speaking to Telangana Today, Suryapet District Horticulture Officer Bellamkonda Sridhar told that the farmers were showing interest for cultivation of oil farms in view of the high profits. Applications were received from 570 farmers for the proposed oil farm cultivation in 500 acres. Subsidy of Rs 32,000 per acre would be extended to the farmers for oil palm cultivation. Small farmers, who were MGNREGS job card holders, can also get the financial assistance of Rs 50,000 per acre for oil palm cultivation under the scheme.
He said that water required for one acre of paddy cultivation would sufficient for two and half acres of oil palm. Oil palm in one acre would give at least 10 tonnes of yield in a year. The price of oil palm crop would be Rs 10,200 per tonne. There was also no problem of marketing for oil palm crop. TSOILFED and Ruchi Soya would purchase the crop from the farmers and deposit the amount in the bank accounts of the farmers, he added.
Oil palm is being cultivated in about 33, 812 acres in Bhadradri Kothagudem district and 6,845 acres in Khammam district . The crop is being cultivated on large scale in mandals like Aswaraopet, Dummugudem, Sathupalli, Enkoor while the crop is also grown in majority of mandals in erstwhile Khammam.
To promote the cultivation the government has been providing subsidies on the procurement of seeds, drip system and fertilisers, informed Kothagudem District Horticulture Officer Jinugu Mariyanna.
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