Big Push For Oil Palm Cultivation In Telangana

Hyderabad: Massive efforts are on to give a major thrust to oil palm cultivation and palm oil extraction in Telangana State with the State government all set to increase the area under oil palm cultivation from the present 50,000 acres to almost two lakh acres, a four-fold jump to bridge the gap between demand and supply of palm oil in the State. Simultaneously, the Telangana State Cooperative Oilseeds Growers Federation (TSOILFED) has also set the ball rolling to set up new oil processing units besides enhancing production capacities in the existing units.

Oil palm cultivation, confined to Khammam, Bhadadri Kothagudem, Nalgonda and Siddipet districts in the State till recently, will now cover Jogulamba-Gadwal (covering 10,000 acres), Narayanpet (20,000 acres), Siddipet (50,000 acres), Jangoan (20,000 acres) and Mahabubabad (70,000 acres) districts. The Federation has already taken up cultivation of oil palm in 25,000 acres in addtion to the 50,000 acres existing coverage area, TSOILFED Chairman K. Ramakrishna Reddy to Telangana Today.

The production of crude palm oil in the State is around 38,000 metric tonnes against the requirement of 3.30 lakh metric tonnes. “With the State government deciding to go in for palm oil production in a big way, TSOILFED will purchase about 40 lakh oil palm sprouts from various countries including Indonesia, Malaysia and Costa Rica, and this will cover about 70,000 acres in these seven district by 2022-23 financial year,” he said, adding that oil palm nurseries are being set up in district headquarters that would nurture the sprouts till they are ready for distribution among farmers.

Since the palm oil yield is expected to increase substantially in the next three to four years, TSOILFED has chalked out plans to set up oil processing units in Gadwal, Siddipet and Thorrur in the first phase, he said. In the second phase, two more processing units will be set up at Narayanpet and Jangoan. Under current market prices, establishment of each oil processing unit will cost about Rs.150 crore, Ramakrishna Reddy said.

“The oil extraction units have to be set up to ensure that farmers do not face problems since seeds need to be crushed immediately after harvest. With the setting up of new plants, logistics issues will also be addressed, besides ensuring faster processing of seeds,” he said.

TSOILFED is also working on enhancing production capacities in the existing units in Ashwaraopet and Apparaopet in Dammapet mandal of Bhadradri Kothagudem district. The current crushing capacity of each unit is 30 tonnes per hour and efforts are on to increase the capacity to 60 tonnes per hour by next June, the TSOILFED Chairman said.

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