Telangana is poised to become one of the largest cultivators of Oil Palm in the country due to the availability of fertile land and favourable 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 including Nalgonda, Suryapet, Khammam, and Bhadradri Kothagudem of Telangana and is being 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 MD & CEO of 3F Oil Palm Sanjay Goenka 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 the 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 the 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.