Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh on Thursday launched the Oil Palm Project, which he said could be an alternative to replace Jhum and poppy cultivations in the state.
The project was launched through video conferencing held at the Cabinet Hall of the Chief Minister’s Secretariat.
CM Biren Singh said the project was taken under the National Mission on oil seed and palm oil which aims to make India self-sufficient in edible oils and even export to other countries.
He said the state had identified areas in Chandel, Churanchandpur, Imphal West, Bishnupur, Ukhrul and Thoubal Districts.
Singh maintained that the oil palm cultivation could be an alternative to jhum cultivation and poppy cultivation as oil palm is the highest vegetable oil yielding perennial crop with an effective income generation to farmers and beneficial to the environment as well.
He informed that the Climate Assessing Departments has identified 66,652 hectares of suitable land through satellite mapping of which the state had initially targeted to cultivate the oil palm on 200 hectare of land. Seeds have been procured from Mizoram and Andhra Pradesh.
The Chief Minister maintained that the most important thing is continuation of the project through active participation of District Agriculture Officers and other officials concerned to ensure proper growth of the planted oil palm. “Such steps could help attain the aim of the State Government to make the State self reliant and improve the economic status through exports of various products produced in the State”, he added.
The Oil Palm Mission Manipur was constituted on August 20 this year with the Joint Director of Agriculture as Mission Director with technical staff supported by a consultant. A Sub-Committee on Oil Palm was also constituted with Principal Secretary (Health), Government of Manipur as Chairman comprising members from Central Agricultural University, ICAR Manipur Centre, Director MARSAC, Agriculture and Horticulture Department.
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