Promoting oil palm for future needs: TS Agriculture Minister

The State govt aims to expand oil palm cultivation to cover 2.3 lakh acres during the FY 2023-24. For this purpose, an allocation of Rs 750 crore has been made, said Niranjan Reddy.
Telangana Agriculture Minister Singireddy Niranjan Reddy (Photo | EPS)
Telangana Agriculture Minister Singireddy Niranjan Reddy (Photo | EPS)

HYDERABAD:  Agriculture Minister Singireddy Niranjan Reddy on Saturday said that the State government is taking proactive measures to promote oil palm cultivation keeping in view the future requirements of the State. 

Responding to queries raised by MLAs S Venkata Veeraiah, M Kishan Reddy, and others during Question Hour in the Assembly, Niranjan Reddy said that the per capita consumption of edible oils in the country stands at 19 kg per annum, or 250 lakh metric tonnes, while domestic production only accounts for 132 lakh metric tonnes. The shortfall in supply necessitates imports from countries like Malaysia, he said. 

“To address this issue, the Telangana government has been actively encouraging oil palm cultivation. Since 1992-93, 1.54 lakh acres have been dedicated to oil palm cultivation in the State, with 1.18 lakh acres added after the formation of Telangana. 

The Minister said that the State government was providing subsidies to farmers at the rate of `50,918 per acre to support oil palm cultivation, covering expenses related to plant material, intercrop inputs, and drip irrigation. The Minister informed the Assembly that the Centre has restricted the subsidy to 12.5 acres per farmer. The State government is keen to address this limitation and is considering taking the matter to the attention of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao for necessary amendments, he said.

Currently, two processing mills, with a combined capacity of 90 tonnes per hour, are operational at Ashwaraopet and Apparaopet village in the Bhadadri-Kothagudem district, managed by TS Oilfed. Additionally, there are 38 oil palm nurseries in the State, and various districts have allocated land to multiple oil palm factories as per the CM’s instructions. 

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