Thursday, October 6, 2022

State govt terminates MoU with oil palm company


State government has terminated the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Andhra Pradesh-based M/s Shivasais Oil Palm Private Limited, which was signed in 2014, after the company failed to set up collection centres within the allotted clusters and purchase fresh fruit bunches (FFBs) from the farmers before setting up the mill.
Informing this to Nagaland Post, the Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC) Nagaland, Y Kikheto Sema, said the signing of the MoU was intended to enhance the income of the farming community considering the massive unused land in the state. APC said the land was supposed to be utilized for plantations of oil palm in a large scale, which would be a ready raw material feeder for oil palm manufacturing units.
Sema said the Centre had also earmarked Rs.11,040 crore to take up palm oil plantation under the National Mission on Edible oils with special focus on North East. However, with the termination of MoU, he said that has ceased in the state.
APC said that the next step of the directorate is to create a convincing proposal with clear guidelines besides creating awareness of the oil palm among the farmers and letting them come forward it they were willing to take up the plantation.
With Jhum as integral practice in the state, APC Kikhteo said that the degraded land could be made good use through oil palm cultivation.
He informed that the actual coverage area at the initial part was 2,50,000 ha, but was reduced to 15,000 ha under oil palm plantations due to a lack of good nurseries. However, APC said that to meet the demands of the farming community, the reviewed area coverage was enhanced yet again.
During the on-the-spot verification by the officials of the department, he said it was observed that buy-back of the FFBs had not been completed and at the same time the department received complaint letters by the oil palm farmers.
It may be mentioned that in continuation of the first MoU signed on September 11, 2014, a second ancillary MoU for the four districts was signed on August 11, 2015.