New Delhi [India], Apr 14 (ANI-BusinessWireIndia): In light of the latest round of measures announced by the Government to promote and encourage oil palm cultivation, Dinesh Shahra, Managing Director, Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd., India's largest agri-foods company, welcomed this historic and path-breaking initiative of the Government led by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji.
"We applaud and welcome this visionary move by the Modi Government to put India on the path to self-reliance in Edible Oils and ensuring Food Security. These far-sighted steps will have benefits across the board that will unfold in the coming years. The Government's drive to make India a self-reliant agri producer and a zero net importer of oil is now on course. Ruchi Soya is leading the palm oil sector cultivation in the country and faces immense pressure from importers of cheap oil," said Managing Director Ruchi Soya, Dinesh Shahra.
"We intrinsically believe in 'Make in India' and this shot in the arm for Indian oil companies demonstrates the Government's belief and confidence in Indian agri-food companies. It is now for the Indian agri-companies to rise up to the occasion and boost oil palm cultivation on a war footing to fight the demand-supply gap that is leading to net imports. The move will also encourage farmers to take up oil palm cultivation on a larger scale," added Shahra.
The multiple measures announced include relaxation of land ceiling limits, revision of norms of assistance in order to increase area under oil palm cultivation and production of palm oil, and are aimed at attracting corporate bodies to this sector to boost domestic output and cut import.
The total production of edible oil in the country is about nine million tonnes while domestic demand is around 25 million tonnes. The gap between demand and supply is being met through imports, which amounted to Rs 68,000 crore in 2015-16. Palm oil contributes 70 percent of vegetable oil import and is one of the cheapest oil due to high yield per hectare.
The Union Cabinet also announced relaxation of land ceiling for oil palm cultivation under the National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP). This will attract corporate investment in oil palm plantations as they will be able to access the NMOOP support even with plantations over 25 hectares.
The Cabinet also revised norms for assistance under Mini Mission-II of NMOOP. It has approved revision in the norms of assistance mainly for planting materials, maintenance cost, inter-cropping cost and bore-well to make oil palm plantations attractive.
With NMOOP presently implemented in 12 states across the country, there is immense potential to extend oil palm plantation to the other states. "I can assure you that Ruchi Soya will be at the forefront of this drive and NMOOP's aims to bring an additional area of 1.25 lakh hectare under oil palm cultivation in the near future," added Dinesh Shahra. (ANI-BusinessWireIndia)