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Arunachal offers great potential for Oil Palm cultivation, says Khandu

Representatives of Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), Lucknow, 3F Industries Ltd, Hyderabad, Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd, Andhra Pradesh, and Dabur India Limited, Ghaziabad submitted their respective proposals and gave presentations to the Chief Minister.

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Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh offers great potential for cultivation of Oil Palm, said Chief Minister Pema Khandu in a social media post after chairing the day-long meeting with various stakeholders to discuss the development of oil palm cultivation in the State vis-a-vis the Central sponsored scheme National Mission on Edible Oil – Oil Palm (NMEO-OP).

The Chief Minister, who had a series of meetings with various stakeholders on way forward in the cultivation and production of aroma oil and palm oil in the state on a mission mode, today informed that Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd will invest Rs 500-plus crore in nurseries, extension, palm oil factory/refinery, while Dabur India eyes to collaborate in the field of procuring medicinal plant raw material, cultivate special medicinal plants like ‘Ashta-Vargas.

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Representatives of Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), Lucknow, 3F Industries Ltd, Hyderabad, Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd, Andhra Pradesh, and Dabur India Limited, Ghaziabad submitted their respective proposals and gave presentations to the Chief Minister.

Senior scientist and head (business and rural development), CIMAP, Dr RK Srivastava said the institute is interested to collaborate with the state government in the production of aromatic plants such as mints, scented geranium, rosemary, citronella, lemongrass, vetiver, patchouli, etc. He informed that CSIR-CIMAP proposes to implement the project initially in 15 out of 25 districts for commercial cultivation and processing of aromatic crops.

Two of the three private companies – 3F Industries and Ruchi Soya Industries – are already operating in the state in the field of oil palm cultivation.

Ruchi Soya had signed an MoU with the government for East Siang in August 2014. It was further allotted the districts of West Siang, Kamle, Lower Siang, Papumpare and Pakke-Kessang in 2016 for oil palm production. The company informed that it has already established nurseries as Pasighat and Hollongi and engaged about 800 farmers to develop plantations of about 1346 hectares.

Ruchi will invest Rs 500-plus crore on nurseries, extension, palm oil factory/refinery, informed its representative and requested the government to make available at least 25 hectare land for the establishment of a 5MT/Hr Mill in the state.

Proposing to venture into the state for the first time, Dabur India, one of top-5 FMCG companies in India, which also has a manufacturing unit at Tezpur in Assam, said it eyes to collaborate in the field of procuring medicinal plant raw material, cultivate special medicinal plants like ‘Ashta-Vargas (8 RET orchids) as a special package for 2-3 years cycle, explore the possibility of RM related to RET species (Aconitum, Hedychium, Kuth, Tagar etc), to increase the cover of procurement of Tomar seeds from 10 to 100 MT in next 5 years and to introduce organized honey beekeeping in Arunachal to harvest 5,000 to 10,000 MT in 3-5 years.

While appreciating the interest shown by the stakeholders, Khandu said all proposals have been noted down and the government will ponder on these ‘seriously’. He assured to work out strategies for successful implementation of all feasible, practical and beneficial proposals without harming the rich biodiversity of the state.

I have already discussed in detail with the deputy commissioners of 10 districts falling in the foothill areas on utilizing vast stretches of unused wastelands for benefit of our farmers. We are committed to uplift the economy of our farmers as well as contribute to further our country’s economy.

At the same time, I want to ensure that our existing forests will not be touched,” Khandu assured.

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