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Oil palm growers allege foul play

Oil palm growers allege foul play
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Oil palm farmers are up in arms, alleging that they have been deprived of their due by the oil millers who have a cartel. The farmers have urged the State government to intervene and do justice to them. The bone of contention between the oil millers and the farmers is that the oil extraction recovery (OER).

Hyderabad: Oil palm farmers are up in arms, alleging that they have been deprived of their due by the oil millers who have a cartel. The farmers have urged the State government to intervene and do justice to them. The bone of contention between the oil millers and the farmers is that the oil extraction recovery (OER). The OER is arrived at, based on how much crude palm oil has been extracted by the millers per tonne, from the oil palm fruits supplied by the farmers.

  • Decry absence of transparency in fixing prices
  • Bemoan that oil millers arbitrarily fixing price
  • Govt also losing crores of rupees by way of tax

Until 2012, the OER was fixed at 16 per cent though it should have been 18 percent. The Committee for Agriculture Cost and Prices (CACP) headed by Ashok Gulati, which studied the whole process of the price mechanism, recommended that the OER fixation process was not transparent. Until an effective mechanism is put in place, the average OER should be taken as 18 per cent, it said.

But the millers claim that the OER was around 16 per cent and accordingly they would pay the farmers accordingly. The farmers protest against this and say there is no monitoring mechanism and that the millers are arbitrarily deciding the OER, causing heavy losses to the farmers.

Speaking to The Hans India, National Oil Palm Farmers Welfare Association general secretary GVSR Prasad said that though all this was happening right under the nose of the State and the Central governments, no action has been taken so far. This is causing loss not only to the farmers but also to the governments, making them lose crores of rupees by way of tax, he pointed out.

By:V R C Phaniharan

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