The National Mission on Edible Oils-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) was launched in 2021 by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare. Its primary objective is to enhance the production of edible oilseeds, increase the availability of edible oils in India, and reduce the country’s dependence on edible oil imports. The scheme aims to significantly expand oil palm cultivation, particularly in states with conducive climates.
- Scheme Modified: Launched in 2021.
- Scheme Fund Allocated: INR 11,040 crore, with INR 8,844 crore as the central share and INR 2,196 crore as the state share.
- Type of Government Scheme: Central Sponsored Scheme.
- Sponsored / Sector Scheme: 60:40 Center-State for General States, 90:10 Center-State for North-Eastern (N-E) States, 100% for Union Territories and central agencies.
|Sunset Clause for the Scheme||November 2037, with continued government support.|
|Special Focus||On the North-East region and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.|
|Resources for SC/ST||17% earmarked for Schedule Caste, 8% for Schedule Tribe under all components.|
|Price Assurance for Farmers||Assured returns to oil palm farmers for Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFBS) through the Viability Price (VP) mechanism.|
|Assistance for Inputs/Interventions||Provided up to the gestation period of 4 years and for maintenance.|
|Flexi Fund Inclusion||States can include activities under Flexi Fund within 10% of the total allocation.|
|Dovetailing of Resources||States are allowed to merge resources with other Government of India programs.|
Latest News about the scheme
In July and August 2023, a mega plantation drive for oil palm cultivation was organized in 49 districts of 11 states across India, covering approximately 3,500 hectares. This initiative marks a significant step toward achieving the scheme’s goal of expanding oil palm cultivation.
Benefits of National Mission on Edible Oils-Oil Palm Scheme
- Enhanced production of edible oilseeds in India.
- Increased availability of domestically produced edible oils.
- Reduced dependence on edible oil imports, leading to cost savings.
- Special focus on the North-East region and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, promoting agricultural development.
- Allocation of resources for Schedule Caste and Scheduled Tribe farmers, addressing socio-economic disparities.
1.Resource Constraints: NMEO-OP demands a substantial initial investment, potentially excluding small-scale farmers. Limited resources might hinder effective participation.
2.Land Suitability: Oil palm’s specific agro-climatic requirements may limit its adoption, excluding regions with less favorable climates.
3.Long Gestation Period: Oil palm trees take around four years to mature, dissuading farmers seeking quicker returns.
4.Environmental Concerns: Clearing land for oil palm can lead to deforestation and habitat loss. Sustainable cultivation is essential.
5.Market Fluctuations: Price volatility in palm oil can affect farmers’ income, subjecting them to market uncertainties.
6.Limited Diversification: Focusing on oil palm may discourage diversification into other crops, potentially increasing risk.
7.Operational Challenges: Effective management of oil palm plantations can be complex, particularly for novice farmers.
8.Monoculture Concerns: Large-scale oil palm cultivation may lead to soil degradation and decreased agro-biodiversity.
9.Social Considerations: Equal access to resources and support may not be assured, potentially exacerbating social disparities in agriculture.
The National Mission on Edible Oils-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) is a crucial initiative aimed at boosting edible oilseeds production and reducing India’s dependency on imported edible oils. By focusing on oil palm cultivation and providing support to various states, it aims to improve the economic well-being of farmers and enhance the availability of edible oils in the country. However, its success hinges on effective implementation and the ability to reach farmers across diverse segments of society.