Being an early bird, the Siddipet district is planning to reap highest benefits from cultivating oil palm. This is being planned on about 3,500 acres and scaled up to 50,000 for which permission was already accorded by Union government about a year ago. The farmers who were already habituated for traditional crops like paddy are showing interest to divert to oil palm.
Few weeks ago Finance Minister T. Harish Rao and Agriculture Minister Nirajan Reddy had a meeting with 2,000 farmers of different mandals to create awareness on cultivation of oil palm.
Meanwhile, the Horticulture Department on its part organised a two-day field visit of farmers to Ashwaraopet in Khamma district.
“About 240 farmers from Siddipet district went to Ashwaraopet to know more about oil palm cultivation. We interacted with farmers and their experiences are good. We are sure that oil palm will offer better remuneration than paddy. I want to go for oil palm cultivation on about five acres out of the eight acres, on which I am cultivating paddy,” said Vanga Nagi Reddy, a farmer of Rangdhampally, and also president of Rythu Bandhu Samithi of Sangareddy district.
He said that the problem of labour can also be addressed as the crop is not labour intensive. He said that the crop yield will be from fifth year and for four years the government will offer ₹30,000 per acre for five years as there will be no crop yield till then.
“The Union Government has accorded permission for cultivation of oil palm on 50,585 acres in Siddipet district alone and we will begin with 3,500 acres. We will grow about 2 lakh saplings in Ranganaiaksagar and Mulugu areas. Oil palm factory will be established at Narmetta in Nanganoor mandal where farmers can supply their produce directly to the mill under - farm to factory model. The plant can withstand hard and dry conditions. Once the yield begins, it will be for 30 years. The yield will be for eight months a year, beginning from April. Countries like Malaysia and Indonesia have reduced exports and this will favour farmers,” M. Surender, Managing Director, Telangana State Oil Federation, told The Hindu .
“This will be a great opportunity for farmers to venture into oil palm cultivation which will allow them to reap rich dividends for more than two decades. They can even go for inter-crops,” said Finance Minister T. Harish Rao, instrumental in motivating farmers to take up oil palm cultivation.
Mr. Harish Rao formally sowed a oil palm sapling at a village in Nanganoor mandal on Saturday, there by launching the programme.