Due to heavy dependence on imports for edible oils, its important to increase domestic production (File)
The Cabinet on Wednesday approved the National Mission on Edible Oils - Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) with a financial outlay of Rs 11,040 crore to promote the domestic cultivation of oil palm in the next five years, and reduce the country's dependence on edible oil imports.
The decision comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the new central scheme on August 15 during his Independence Day speech at Red Fort.
Briefing reporters, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said the Cabinet approved the NMEO-OP with a focus on the northeast region and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Due to heavy dependence on imports for edible oils, it is important to make efforts for increasing the domestic production of edible oils in which increasing area and productivity of oil palm plays an important part, he said.
The new central scheme has been approved with a financial outlay of Rs 11,040 crore, he added.
Under the NMEO-OP scheme, the government will give price assurance to oil palm growers, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said.
The government has also more than doubled the assistance to Rs 29,000 per ha from Rs 12,000 per ha to oil palm growers for planting material under the central scheme, the agriculture minister told reporters.
To address the shortage of planting material for oil palm cultivation, the Centre will give assistance up to Rs 100 lakh for 15 hectare under NMEO-OP, Mr Tomar added.