National Mission on Edible Oils-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP)


       Oil Palm (Elaeis guineensis), originated from West Africa is comparatively a new crop in India and has highest vegetable oil yielding capability per ha. It produces two distinct oils, i.e. palm oil and palm kernel oil, which are used for culinary as well as industrial purposes. Palm oil is derived from the fleshy mesocarp of the fruit, which contains about 45-55% of oil. Palm kernel oil, obtained from the kernel of oil palm, is the source of lauric oils. With quality planting material, irrigation and proper management, there is potential of 20-25 MT fresh fruit bunches (FFBs) per ha after attaining the age of 8-9 years. In comparative terms yield of palm oil is 5 times the yield of edible oil obtainable from traditional oilseeds.

Government of India has continuously been making efforts to increase the area production of oil palm. For increased availability of edible oils in the country and to reduce the import burden, various interventions since 1991-92 through schemes such as the Technology Mission on Oilseed & Pulses (TMOP), Integrated Scheme on Oilseeds, Pulses, Oil Palm and Maize (ISOPOM), Oil Palm Area Expansion (OPAE), National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP) and currently the National Food Security Mission (NFSM)–Oilseeds & Oil Palm have taken place and was implemented in 13 States viz; Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Gujarat, Karnataka, Odisha, Mizoram, Nagaland, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur with the funding pattern of 60:40 in case of general States and 90:10 in case of North-Eastern States and hill States.

As a result of the developmental efforts over the years, the oil palm area which was 8585 ha in 1991-92, has increased to 3.70 lakh ha in 2020-21. Similarly, the production of Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFBs) from which oil palm is extracted, has increased from 0.21 lakh tonnes to 16.89 lakh tonnes in 2020-21. Crude Palm Oil (CPO) has increased from 0.01 lakh tonnes to 2.72 lakh tonnes during the same period. The actual fruiting area in the country is only 1.87 lakh hectares


       Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Kerala are major Oil palm growing States and account 98% of total production. Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Gujarat and Mizoram have also sizable area under Oil palm cultivation. Recently Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur and Nagaland have also initiated Oil palm plantation program on large scale.

Oil palm cultivation takes place in the States based on a catchment area allocated by the State Government to the Oil palm processors/industry under Oilpalm Act. The prices for FFBs are either through the Oil Palm Acts of the State Governments, or through Regulations and Orders. The reasons behind the slow pace of development of oil palm in India are manifold, the most significant being the lack of assured price for the FFBs for the oil palm farmers and the uncertainty in the payment of price of FFBs since it is linked to the landed CPO price which is prone to major fluctuations in the payment. Further there is no support from the Government of India for the FFB price to the farmer.


       The reassessment committee of ICAR- Indian Institute of Oil Palm Research (IIOPR) 2020 has assessed in the year 2020, a total area of around 28 lakh hectares. Out of the total 27.99 lakh ha potential area an area of 18.37 lakh is in general state and 9.62 lakh in 7 NE States. Presently in the North East the coverage is around 38,992 hectares against the potential of 9.62 lakh hectares assessed by the IIOPR and hence there is a lot of potential for the growth of oil palm in the country especially in the north eastern states. During 2020-21, the production of CPO is around 2.72 lakh tonnes, obtained from 1.87 lakh hectares of fruiting area.


       Considering the growing domestic demand for edible oils, the staggering deficiency and the cost to the exchequer on account of imports, the urgency of scaling up the oil palm area is of National interest and does not need any over emphasis. Therefore, to fulfil the National interest, National Mission on Edible Oils - Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) is approved with the aim to enhance the edible oilseeds production and oils availability in the country by harnessing Oil Palm area expansion, increasing CPO production and to reduce import burden on edible oils. It will focus on increasing edible oil production from Oil Palm. The State Department of Agriculture, State Department of Horticulture, Central University, ICAR-Institutions, CDDs, SAUs, KVKs, Central Agencies/Cooperatives, Oil palm processors/ Associations, DD Kisan, AIR, DD, TV channels will be the implementing stake holders of the NMEO-Oil palm.


       The strategy to implement the proposed NMEO-OP will include increasing production of seedlings by establishment of seed garden, nurseries of oil palm to assure domestic availability of seedlings as per target fixed under NMEO-OP. Improving productivity of FFBs, increasing drip irrigation coverage under oil palm, diversification of area from low yielding cereals crops to oil palm, inter-cropping during gestation period of 4 years, would provide economic return to the farmers when there is no production. The scheme would be implemented in a mission mode through active involvement of all the stakeholders. Fund flow would be monitored to ensure that benefit of the Mission reaches the targeted beneficiaries in time to achieve the targeted results.


       NMEO-OP will be implemented in the following states. NMEO-GC headed by Hon’ble Agriculture Minister would be empowered for inclusion of additional potential States/districts with consultation of ICAR/ IIOPR in addition to identified area as per report of IIOPR, 2020. NMEO-OP: Potential states and districts of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Andaman & Nicobar islands.

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