The Telangana government has decided to take up palm oil cultivation in a large area of 20 lakh acres due to the potential of oil palm cultivation in the state. To undertake the expansion of oil palm cultivation in 27 districts, the government has allotted factory zones to 11 companies. Two lakh acres of oil palm cultivation has been planned for raising plants for the 2023-24 year. Currently, oil palm is cultivated in 1,30,463 acres in the state. The government has set a target for the Agriculture department to increase the area under oil palm cultivation in the state to 10 lakh acres in the next four years.
To achieve this target, the state government has taken up a campaign to educate farmers and provide them with incentives to take up oil palm cultivation in 1.20 lakh acres across the state. Under various schemes in the state, nearly 68,440 acres and 13,302 farmers have been brought under oil palm cultivation for the year 2021-22. For the year 2022-23, 61,277 acres and 15,710 farmers have been brought under oil palm cultivation. The government has released Rs 107.43 crore as the first installment for the implementation of the scheme, out of which Rs 82 crore has been given as a subsidy to farmers and companies.
The state government is providing assistance to take up oil palm cultivation with 50% assistance on mechanization and plans to take up oil palm cultivation on a mission mode as part of crop diversification. So far, the respective companies have set up 38 nurseries across the state for growing oil palm plants. The state requires about 3.66 lakh tonnes of palm oil, but currently only 52,666 tonnes are being produced.
Currently, the area under oil palm cultivation in India is about 9.25 lakh acres. The country has a palm oil demand of more than 100 lakh metric tonnes, while annually production of crude palm oil is only 2.90 lakh metric tonnes per annum. This deficit is met by the country through imports. An additional 70 lakh acres of land is required for palm oil self-sufficiency in the country.
Telangana State ranks first in the country in Oil Production Percentage (OER) (19.32 % in 2021-22). Among the oilseed crops, palm oil is the highest yielder (10-12 tons per acre), 25-30 yrs. It can fetch around Rs.1,20,000/- to Rs.1,50,000/- per annum. The government pays a subsidy of up to Rs.50918/- per acre for oil palm plantations, ownership intercropping, and micro-irrigation for the first four years.