BY TC News Desk
Agartala, August 04: Launching Oil-Palm Plantation Drive at Shantinagar VC of Belbari Block under Jirania Agri sub-division, Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare minister Ratan Lal Nath on Friday stressed on making people living in the hills self-reliant in order to witness the real development of the state.
Speaking on this programme, Nath said “The Central government is attempting to make people ‘Atmanirbhar’ and ‘Swanirbhar’. Similarly in Tripura also, government is also making its untiring efforts under the leadership of Chief Minister Prof Dr Manik Saha to become self-reliant. To achieve success in attaining ‘Atmanirbhar’, special focus has to be given on villages and hills in this state, because all agricultural lands are located in this region only.”
“The GDP’s main source of profit is from the Agriculture sector. The number of industries is not so much in this state, hence we have to depend on Agriculture. We are emphasizing in those ways through which production is high in less span. Till date, rubber was lone source of good profit, but the production took place after seven long years.”
“But this Palm oil will give production after four years. In one hectare, a farmer can have an income of Rs 1.20 lakh but in case of palm oil, farmer will have an income of Rs 2 lakh. Hence, the palm oil production period is less on one hand and on the other, farmer can have a high income compared to rubber, as well as making the state and country ‘Atmanirbhar’. It is learned that India needs to bring palm oil worth Rs 80,000 crore from other countries”, he added.
Citing an instance of ‘Atmanirbhar’, Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare minister said “Roshan Debbarma, a B.Tech qualified engineering owns a plot of 4 hectare i.e. 24 kaanis. He is starting oil palm cultivation in this plot from today onwards. The target is that the central government has initiated a mega drive from July 25 to August 05 across the country. As part of it, A&FW department in association with Patanjali Foods Limited started its oil palm plantation drive in five districts from today at Shantinagar while Godrej Limited will start at Ambassa tomorrow.”
He also said that the farmers don’t have to wait to sell their production as there would be a centre to purchase the crude oil from the farmers and send to the refineries for final oil production that is being sold by the Patanjali Foods Limited branding as Ruchi oil. In this state, Patanjali and Godrej will set up separate processing centres in the state.
Replying to alleged controversies in Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram over oil-palm cultivation, Nath claimed that he us unware of the problems in neighbouring NE states, but if there is any such weakness, then we will find out and try to address the issue in this state.
He further added that the central government has given an assured price for purchasing crude palm oil from the farmers and processing centres will also be set up in the state. “And we are not saying to stop rubber cultivation, but to start any kind of cultivation like coconut, betel nut, jackfruit, orange, pineapple etc. in those abandoned agricultural lands where nothing is being grown as the government also initiated steps to set up centre of excellence for all of these.