A bill to provide for the regulation of cultivation, production and processing of oil palm and related matters was passed in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly on Wednesday providing for constitution of a price fixation committee, among other things.
Piloting The Karnataka Oil Palm (Regulation of Cultivation, Production and Processing) Bill, 2013, Minister for Agriculture Marketing and Horticulture Shamanoor Shivashankarappa said since fresh fruit bunches of oil palm have to be processed within 24 hours of plucking to extract oil, a close coordination between the grower and processor is necessary.
The bill provides for assuring the grower sale of his produce and payment for sale of such produce, constitution of a project management team to take measures regarding development of oil palm cultivation through implementation of programme of oil palm development, and a price fixation committee to ensure the grower reasonable price for oil palm fresh fruit bunches.
It also provides for appointment of Oil Palm Commissioner to coordinate activities of oil palm growers and the industries engaged in processing oil palm, and declaration of factory zone for the purpose of ensuring regular supply of fresh oil palm fruit bunches to the factory situated in the zone.
In addition to registration of oil palm growers,the bill provides for payment of compensation to oil palm growers by entrepreneur on account of failure to buy oil palm fresh fruit bunches by the entrepreneur or occupier of factory.
It was noted that in order to meet the growing demand for edible oils, oil palm was identified as a suitable crop for cultivation in the country in view of its high oil yielding capacity.
Karnataka is one of the states wherein the oil palm project has been taken up with the Government of India assistance.