Oil palm cultivation has been introduced in Pudukottai district, thanks to the efforts made by the National Agriculture Development Programme (NADP).

The NADP has fixed a target of 100 hectares to be brought under oil palm cultivation. Gandarvakottai being one of the potential blocks for oil palm, the cultivation was taken up at Veeradipatti village in the block on Wednesday.

At a function at Veeradipatti, K.M. Shajahan, Joint Director of Agriculture, said special subsidy would be sanctioned to encourage the practice.

He explained the assured returns from oil palm from the third year of its cultivation.

Lack of awareness about the profitability of the crop was a major hurdle.

Campaign

The department would launch an intensive campaign to motivate farmers. Oil palm cultivation required less labour, he said. The NADP has permitted cultivation in Pudukottai, Sivaganga, and Virudunuagar districts.

Sadanandham, Deputy Director of Agriculture (government of India schemes), said oil palm would be an alternate and viable crop.