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Telangana to cultivate oil palm in 8.5L acres in 4 yrs

Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy
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Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy

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Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy said that Telangana was proposed to take up oil palm cultivation in 8 lakh acres in the next four years

Hyderabad: Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy said that Telangana was proposed to take up oil palm cultivation in 8 lakh acres in the next four years.

Speaking at the State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) meet on oil palm here on Monday, he stressed the need to increase the cultivation of oil palm. He informed that the country was producing only 7 million tons of cooking oil as against 22 million tons of demand for its population.

The entire shortfall of 15 million tons was being imported from other countries to meet the demand. He informed that currently the oil palm was being cultivated at an extent of 8.25 lakh acres in the country with a crop yielding of 16.85 lakh metric tons of palm kernel and production of crude palm oil. He said supporting the increase in the palm oil cultivation was the need of the hour to save the spending of foreign exchange to import palm oil.

Currently, the State's demand for palm oil is about 3.66 lakh tons but the total production of it in the State is only 38,000 tons. To fill the gap, he said that the State would have to expand the cultivation of oil palm to an additional extent of 2.5 lakh acres. He said that the increase in availability of water and suitable climatic conditions in State have made the Centre to identify 25 districts in the State for the cultivation of oil palm.

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