Last Updated on February 17, 2023 by SPN Editor
CM N Biren attended the inaugural function of the One Day National Workshop on Promotion of Oil Palm in Manipur today at Hotel Classic Grande, Chingmeirong, Imphal East. The workshop was organised by the Department of Agriculture, Government of Manipur under CSS of National Mission on Edible Oils and Oil Palm (NMEO-OP).
Speaking on the occasion, Biren stated that there had been apprehension in the public about the degradation of soil, forest, and nothing could be planted on the soil once the oil palm plantation had been taken up. As such, the workshop had been organized to discuss and make people aware of the scientifically proven facts that no harm had been caused by oil palm plantation, he added. He continued that other crops like pineapple, coffee, etc could also be grown successfully within the premise of oil palm plantation areas.
Mentioning India as the largest importer of edible oil in the world, CM appreciated the talents and efforts of Oil Palm team in Manipur and the Officials of the Agriculture Department for being able to produce saplings of oil palm in Manipur in a short span of time. He expressed his opinion on the necessity for everyone to contribute to making our nation self-sustainable and enhancing its economic growth, as many items which we consume are being imported from outside the country.
He continued that the Oil Palm Project was virtually inaugurated in Manipur on 12th 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 a delay in the expansion of projects due to certain apprehensions in the minds of people about the adverse effect of oil palm plantations, he added. As such, he 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.
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. Additional Chief Secretary (Health) and also Ex-Officio, Chairman of (SLSC), Oil Palm Manipur V. Vumlunmang, Commissioner (Agriculture) M. Joy Singh, Director, ICAR- Indian Institute of Oil Palm Research, Pedavegi, Andhra Pradesh Dr. R.K. Mathur, Deputy Commissioner (Oil Palm), Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India B.K. Srivastava, Director, Department of Agriculture, Manipur N. Gojendro, Representatives from Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland, Scientists, Experts and other officials attended the programme among others.
It may be mentioned that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while delivering an address during the virtual foundation stone laying ceremony of the Manipur water Supply Project on 23rd July 2020 appealed to the farmers in North-Eastern States to take up Oil Palm cultivation with an aim to make India self-sufficient in edible oils. He also recommended the State Governments of the North Eastern Region set up Oil Palm Missions in the respective States to promote the cultivation of the Oil Palm.