Centre’s oil palm cultivation plan in NE region draws flak

AIZAWL, AUG 31 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 8/31/2021 1:30:49 PM IST

Centre’s move to promote cultivation of oil palm plantation in the North Eastern region has drawn flak from numerous quarters and faced opposition from environmentalists, conservationists, a Times of India report stated.

Experts in the Mizoram consider the Rs.11,040 crore NMEO-OP to be the Centre’s plan to dump the “cursed” crop in NE and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, as oil palm plantations have led to widespread destruction of rainforests and native biodiversity in southeast Asia.

According to environmentalists, the widespread oil palm cultivation inflicts damage on the biodiversity. It drains ground water resources and causes immense destruction of flora and fauna, thereby leading to irreparable damage in a small state like Mizoram.

Lallianpuii, a scientist at Wildlife Institute of India and member of the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation in Mizoram, said: “Globally, all tropical countries with commercial palm oil cultivation have faced ecological declines and socio-economic consequences.” The fear is that if plantations are expanded, it could magnify the wildlife and habitat loss crisis, she said.

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