Telangana is poised to become one of the largest cultivators for Oil Palm cultivation in the country due to availability of fertile land and favorable conditions for growing this crop on a large scale. The multiple irrigation projects in the state have contributed to improved irrigatable conditions making Telangana a prominent state for Oil Palm plantation and processing activities. Oil Palm is a very versatile crop and has multiple benefits for farmers, it gives the highest yields and returns per acre compared to most commercial crops.
Currently, Oil Palm is being grown in only 4 districts (Nalgonda, Suryapet, Khammam, Bhadradri) of Telangana and is cultivated in about 45,000 acres producing 30,000 tons of crude palm oil. Telangana’s current edible oil requirement is around 4 Lakh tons per annum. The deficit can easily be fulfilled by cultivating just 2 lakh acres of land resulting in 5-7 lakh tons of palm oil being produced. This will place Telangana as the first state to emerge as a self-reliant state in its edible oil requirements. The state has a potential to increase the cultivable land to 7 lakh acres and the Government of Telangana has identified 25 districts including the existing four districts, which have the potential to grow oil palm in the state.
Speaking on the potential, Mr. Sanjay Goenka, MD & CEO – 3F Oil Palm said, “By reaching the targeted 7 lakh acres, Telangana will be in a position to generate additional revenues by selling the surplus produce to other states. Palm Oil is a very versatile and affordable oil simply because of its high productivity and ability to flourish with minimal requirements. This will hugely benefit the farmers, increase employment as well as attract investments from processors. We are greatly motivated with the opportunity and are working closely with the Government towards fulfilment of the potential.”
Telangana is well poised to leverage the opportunity due to its pro-farmer policies such as Rythu Bandhu leading to growth in irrigation facilities, availability of water, free and quality power supply for 24/7 over the course of last 4-5 years. Coupled with Government of India’s subsidy and the focused approach by the government of Telangana towards promoting this crop, farmers will be hugely benefitted by adopting this crop. Successful adoption by farmers in Andhra Pradesh is testimony to the sustained and guaranteed regular income from Oil Palm Cultivation.
It is necessary for the Oil Palm crop to be processed within 24 hours from its harvesting. This will help ensure investments in the rural area as the processing units need to be located closer to the plantations, and in turn increased employment opportunities and development of the region.
Oil Palm: Tremendous Potential, Highly Productive & Remunerative
Any edible oil-bearing crop across the world produces a maximum of 500 kgs of oil per hectare, while Oil Palm produces about 4,000 kgs of oil per hectare at a yield rate that is 8 times better. The crop life cycle is estimated at 25 years.
As per the industry statistics, even at a lower per capita consumption of 18 kgs of edible oil per person per annum in India versus the world average of 27 kgs, India is still producing only 40% of its requirements and the balance 60% is met through imports.
“Palm oil constitutes 70% of the countries edible oil imports. India is presently importing about Rs 75,000 Crore of Oil Palm every year. Any increase in per capita consumption will further increase the import bill and change the entire dynamics. Encouraging Oil Palm cultivation to enable India becoming self-reliant in edible oils will save a huge burden on the state exchequer”, Mr. Goenka said.
Multiple benefits to farmers include subsidy support from the Government of India towards sapling, creating of irrigation infrastructure, fertilizer and harvesting equipment for the first 4 years to the tune of about Rs 2.7 Lakh per hectare. Farmer are insulation from the ambiguity of price fluctuations due to market conditions as price fixation is government by the Government. Processing companies transfer the dues directly into the bank accounts of farmers ensuring elimination of middleman.