Dakshina Kannada farmers reap rich dividends with cultivation of palm for oil

A palm tree grower from the district said that two months ago, one tonne of palm fruit used to get sold for Rs 15,000, but now it is getting Rs 6,300 extra due to increased demand.

Published: 16th May 2022 04:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2022 04:06 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

MANGALURU:  Nagesh, a farmer from Dakshina Kannada district, opted to grow palm trees for oil when he was struggling to find a viable alternative crop to arecanut which was affected by yellow leaf disease (YLD). Now, he is earning up to Rs 21, 300 per tonne of palm fruit.

Many farmers like him have taken up palm tree cultivation in the district. Earlier, palm oil trees used to be cultivated in 40 hectares of land, but now it has increased to 60 hectares in Dakshina Kannada, say Horticulture Department officials.

A palm tree grower from the district said that two months ago, one tonne of palm fruit used to get sold for Rs 15,000, but now it is getting Rs 6,300 extra due to increased demand. “We are hoping that the prices will increase further,” said a grower. Prema Vasanth, another grower from Sullia taluk, said, “We get around 200 kg of produce from a tree per year.

The chances of pests attacking the fruit is also very less. If there is no water for 15 days, arecanut trees die, but the palm tree survives even after 2 months of not watering. I have 1,250 palm oil trees and we get 10 tonnes of produce for every harvest.

The company supplying the saplings transports the produce and the amount is directly credited to our bank accounts,” she said. H R Nayak, deputy director of Horticulture Department in Dakshina Kannada, said, “The weather in parts of Puttur, Sullia and Belthangady is suitable for palm cultivation.

The demand for edible palm oil in India is around 236 lakh tonnes per year, but only 70 to 80 tonnes of palm oil is produced in the country. To meet the demand, the edible oil is being imported from Indonesia, Malaysia. There is a subsidy and maintenance cost from the government for palm tree cultivation,” he said.



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