Nagaland targets cultivation of oil palm in cluster approach

A section of oil palm cultivation area.

A section of oil palm cultivation area.

Kohima, February 16 (MExN): A team of officials from the Directorate of Agriculture, Nagaland visited oil palm farms under Peren and Niuland districts and interacted with the oil palm farmers on February 13. The team included N Jacob Yanthan, Additional Director of Agriculture, Z Hukhato Sema, Jt Director of Agriculture and Ronchamo Kikon, SMS.

The monitoring visit was conducted following a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed during January 2023 for the “development and area expansion under oil palm cultivation and processing” between the State Government and Godrej Agrovet Limited (GAVL) for Zone-I (Peren, Chümoukedima, Dimapur, Niuland and Wokha districts) and with Patanjali Foods Ltd (Formerly known as Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd for Zone-II (Mokokchung, Longleng and Mon districts) in the State of Nagaland under National Mission on Edible Oils-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP).

An update from the Directorate of Agriculture stated that the main objective of the monitoring visit was to disseminate to the oil palm farmers about the new features under the guidelines of NMEO-OP and the collaborative work that has to be undertaken with the companies engaged. 

The officials encouraged and informed the farmers about the huge future economic prospect for oil palm cultivation in the State. Such visits will also be made to other oil palm growing districts in the State within March, 2023, it stated. 

It also mentioned that Nagaland State has targeted eight districts for five years from 2021-22 to 2025-26 for the cultivation of oil palm in a cluster approach in “a sustainable manner in the hugely potential foothill areas of the State without disturbing the natural forest including bio-diversity to fulfill the burning desire of the State to create employment opportunities and generate remunerative livelihood income to the farmers.”

The department claimed that “the cultivation of oil palm as a high value crop with higher economic returns per hectare with viability Gap Funding (VGF) offered by GoI under (NMEO-OP) would therefore, be a boon to the subsistence farmers in comparison to growing other oilseed and plantation crops.”