Nagaland’s oil palm plantation has grown from 140 to 4623 ha in 6 years

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Dimapur: Oil Palm plantations, which are a relatively new crop in India, are rapidly expanding in Nagaland, from a measly 140 hectares (ha) in 2015-16 to 4,623 hectares in 2020-21. As of March 31, 2021, the situation is as follows.

According to a Department of Agriculture (DOA) document, the objective for 2021-22 is additional 1,100 hectares. The ministry has approved/allotted Rs 555.561 lakh (Central Share: Rs 500.00 lakh, State Share: Rs 55.561 lakh) for the implementation of Oil Palm in the state with a target area of 1,100 ha for the fiscal year 2021-22, according to the statement.

Dimapur Sadar, Niuland, Medziphema; Peren: Jalukie; Wokha: Wokha Sadar, Baghty; Mokokchung: Mangkolemba, Tuli; Longleng: Longleng Sadar; Kohima-:Tseminyu; and Mon: Tizit are the seven districts where agriculture is presently taking place.

Dimapur district had the most coverage, with 1,679 ha; Wokha had 846 ha; Jalukie had 762 ha; Mokokchung had 753 ha; Mon had 460 ha; Kohima and Longleng had 460 ha (58 ha).

Oil palm farming became popular in Nagaland when the Government of India (Gol) launched the National Mission on Oilseed and Oil Palm (NMOOP) in 2014-15 with the goal of increasing oilseed output in the country.

According to the DoA website, it was classified as a ‘Mini Mission II’ under NMOOP. “There is an urgent need to step up efforts to expand the area under oil palm, the highest yielding perennial crop for vegetable oil, in order to boost palm oil output in the country,” it said.

The same was mentioned in a recent DOA paper, which also claimed that after reaching the age of five years, it is possible to achieve “20-30 MT (Metric Tonne) of Fresh Fruit Bunches (FBBs) per hectare (ha) each year.”

A total of 390 ha of the 4,623 ha are producing FBBs, according to the statement, which also stated that a Memorandum of Understanding has been inked with Shivasais Oil Palm Pvt Ltd, which has promised to begin acquiring the FBBs.

Except for Medziphema and Tseminyu, where planting began in 2017-18 and 2018-19, respectively, all other locations have begun bearing FBBS.

According to the Department of Agriculture, the state government has set a goal of 15,000 hectares for the state, which includes the foothills of Dimapur, Niuland, Jalukie, Baghty, Tuli, and Tizit, and a “detail Physical and Financial Action Plan will be prepared after the receipt of Operational guidelines.”

“The land may be Government or in collaboration with the private landowner for the establishment of enterprises for the extraction and processing of palm oil,” it said.