Godrej Agrovet Ltd. (GAVL) organised an oil palm plantation drive on Thursday in Chintampalli, Andhra Pradesh. The event was attended by 200 farmers from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Agriculture Commissioner P K Singh, MP from Eluru, Kothagiri Sridhar, K Suresh, Director, ICAR- Indian Institute of Oil Palm Research (IIOPR) and Sougata Niyogi, CEO-Oil Palm Business, GAVL.

Agriculture Commissione P K Singh said, “The plantation drive, which coincided with the rainy season has received encouraging response from the oil palm processing companies and farmers. Covering approximately 3500 ha of the area and planting more than 5.00 lakh planting material during the drive, this will further assist us in achieving the target of bringing an additional area of 6.5 lakh ha. under oil palm production by 2025-26. Collaborating with players like Godrej, we are confident of enhancing productivity and creating sustainable income sources for the oil palm farmers”.

India is the world’s largest importer and the 2nd largest consumer of palm oil. With the local production of 300,000 tonnes, the country currently imports 7,500,000 tonnes.

Kothagiri Sridhar emphasised the importance of import duty for better price realisation of oil palm farmers, which in turn would aid in increasing the oil palm area under cultivation.

Sougata Niyogi, CEO-Oil Palm Business, GAVL said this drive is a significant step towards self-reliance in edible oil production and uplifting the farming community. “Having distributed more than 2.5 Lacs saplings of oil palm across 20 districts in 10 states, we will continue to provide a number of resources to oil palm farmers in addition to training them on sustainable oil palm plantation practices by leveraging more than 30 years of our experience. We are confident that through Samadhan – our one-stop solution center for oil palm farmers, we will not only uplift the Indian oil palm farmers with small land parcels but also generate employment in their region.”

K. Suresh, Director, ICAR-IIOPR said, “As a highest vegetable oil yielding crop, oil palm cultivation enables farmers to have an additional source of income through intercropping and could generate more employment opportunities in their area of development. The crop sequesters more carbon than any other plantation crop and doesn’t impact the environment too.”

Recently, GAVL inaugurated an edible oil refinery at Chintalapudi, Eluru district, its first downstream project for value-added products. The same was followed by allocating the potential area of 47,000 acres in Telangana’s Sangareddy district to expand oil palm cultivation and set up processing units.