Through a new mission authorised by the Cabinet, the Centre will provide price guarantees, viability gap finance, and planting material assistance to oil palm producers in order to enhance domestic output and reduce reliance on imports. Over a five-year period, the National Mission on Edible Oils – Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) would spend Rs. 11,040 crore, of which the Central government will contribute Rs. 8,844 crore. By 2025-26, the Mission intends to expand oil palm acreage by 6.5 lakh hectares and boost crude palm oil production to 11.2 lakh tonnes by 2025-26 and up to 28 lakh tonnes by 2029-30. The government wanted to limit the danger of farmers losing money owing to price fluctuations in the international market for fresh fruit bunches from which oil is extracted. The plan contains a sunset provision that expires on November 1, 2037. According to the Indian Institute of Oil Palm Research, there are 28 lakh hectares of land across the country that may be utilised for oil palm production safely. Oil palm is now grown on less than four lakh hectares.
The Indian Prime Minister has established a palm oil production programme called the National Mission on Edible Oil-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) to assist farmers earn more money. This mission would spend Rs. 11,000 crores in the edible oil ecosystem over a five-year period. The goal is to achieve self-sufficiency in the production of edible oils. By 2024-25, the goal is to reduce import dependency from 60% to 45% by growing local edible oil output from 10.5 million tonnes to 18 million tonnes, a 70% increase. Farmers will have access to all necessary resources, including high-quality seeds and cutting-edge technologies. This goal will not only promote the production of oil palm, but it will also extend the cultivation of our other traditional oil seed crops.
The government plans to create a system to set and regulate palm oil pricing. So, if the market is turbulent, the Centre will compensate the farmers the difference in price via direct benefit transfer. This is the first time the Centre has guaranteed a price to oil palm farmers, with the sector required to cover the viability gap funding of 14.3% of crude palm oil prices. In order to stimulate oil palm development in northeastern India and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Centre would cover an extra 2% of crude palm oil costs in these states. In addition, the Mission will more than quadruple the amount of money it will offer to cover the cost of planting supplies.
Source: The Hindu