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Palm oil cultivation to start in Manipur: CM Biren

Biren stated that there had been apprehension in the public about degradation of soil, forest and nothing could be planted on the soil once the oil palm plantation had been taken up. 

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Imphal:  Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh on Tuesday said issues related to palm oil cultivation should be discussed and analysed properly. 

He was addressing a One Day National Workshop on Promotion of Oil Palm here. 

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Biren stated that there had been apprehension in the public about degradation of soil, forest and nothing could be planted on the soil once the oil palm plantation had been taken up. 

The workshop had been organised to discuss and make people aware of the scientifically proven facts that no harm had been caused by oil palm plantation, he added. 

He said that other crops like pineapple, coffee etc could also be grown successfully within the premise of oil palm plantation areas.

India as the largest importer of edible oil in the world, the Chief Minister appreciated the talents and efforts of Oil Palm Manipur team and Officials of Agriculture Department for being able to produce saplings of oil palm in a short span of time.  

He expressed his opinion on the necessity for everyone to contribute in making our nation self sustainable and enhance its economic growth, as many items which we consume are being imported from outside the country.

The chief minister said that the Oil Palm Project was virtually inaugurated in Manipur on 12th of November, 2020 and potential areas of 66,652 hectares had been identified in six districts by verifying suitable areas through observation and had started the plantation. 

There had been delay in expansion of projects due to certain apprehensions in the minds of people about the adverse effect of oil palm plantation, he added. 

Biren appealed to experts and scientists, taking part in the workshop, to give a conclusion with a positive message after the workshop, so that the apprehension could be cleared.

Agriculture Minister Thongam Biswajit stated that India is one of the largest importers of oil palm, draining a large amount of money from the country. 

Once the production of palm oil is started through large scale cultivation of oil palm, the huge amount spent on importing the same could be sideline for use in other developmental projects, he added.

Expressing that cultivation of oil palm would provide much benefit to farmers, he appealed to take up the initiative of planting oil palm in a faster manner so as to make our country economically viable. 

He stressed the need for more funding to enhance the area of coverage for plantation of oil palm as the State had already identified large areas of potential land for such plantation.

During the inaugural programme, short video films on Past-Present & Future of Oil Palm Project Manipur and successful stories of oil palm farmers of Arunachal Pradesh were also shown.

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