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Home » Palm oil initiative: The National Mission on Edible oil for supporting Farming Income and the challenges to overcome

Palm oil initiative: The National Mission on Edible oil for supporting Farming Income and the challenges to overcome

Palm oil initiative

This new palm oil initiative aims to boost India’s self-sufficiency in edible oils and help increase farm incomes. Incentivising palm oil production will not only reduce the country’s dependence on imports but also help farmers benefit financially from the growth and expansion of the market.

A brand-new centrally sponsored programme called the National Mission on Edible Oils – Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) aims to increase the acreage and productivity of oilseeds and oil palm, with a special focus on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the North East region.

The three states that cultivate the most oil palm, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Kerala, account for 98% of the total production. Oil palm is also grown in significant quantities in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Gujarat, and Mizoram. Recently, programmes for oil palm plantations were also launched in Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, and Nagaland. There are two scheme components of the scheme benefitting the farmers

Price assurance

Assistance with Inputs

Price assurance

Under the price assurance, farmers would be provided assurance in the form of viability gap funding. The industry will be mandated to pay 14.3% of the CPO price, which will eventually go up to 15.3%. There is a sunset clause for the scheme, which is on 1st November 2037.

To boost the economies of the Northeast and Andaman Islands, the government would also contribute an additional 2% of the CPO price to ensur that farmers there receive wages on par with those in the rest of India. The viability gap payment envisaged in the scheme would benefit the states that follow the mechanism suggested by the Government of India. For this purpose, they will engage in MoUs with the central

Government Assistance for Inputs

A substantial increase has been made for planting material for oil palm, and this has increased from Rs 12,000 per/ha to Rs. 29000 per/ha. A further substantial increase has been made in maintenance and intercropping interventions. Special assistance @ Rs 250 per plant will be given to replant old gardens for rejuvenation of old gardens.

Seed gardens will receive the support of up to Rs. 80 lakhs for 15 ha in the rest of India and Rs. 100 lakhs for 15 ha in the North-East and Andaman Regions to address the issue of a lack of planting material in the nation. Additionally, aid for seed gardens at rates of Rs. 40 lakhs and Rs. 50 lakhs, respectively, for the rest of India and the North-East and Andaman regions.

Further, For the North-East and Andaman regions, where particular arrangements are being made for integrated farming, bio fencing, and land clearing. In addition to half-moon terrace cropping, extra assistance will be provided. With a pro-rata increase for higher capacity, a provision of Rs 5 core for a5 mt/hr unit is made for the North East states and the Andaman Islands. This will draw businesses from North Eastern states.

The factors that have made palm oil a success which have also brought with them well-documented environmental and social challenges. The most prominent among these are links to deforestation, labour rights, and damaging effects on the environment, particularly when the crop is grown unsustainably.

Additionally, there are a number of challenges too. One needs to take into consideration other indirect impacts of palm oil production, including the greenhouse emissions (CO2, Methane, nitrous oxide) related to deforestation, the use of fire for clearing land, water quality, freshwater species diversity, invasive species associated with oil palm, pest-spill over effects and secondary impacts of hunting.

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