A Review of Oil Palm Fruit Plantation and Production under the Contract- Growers Scheme in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu States of India
AbstractAn assessment of the oil palm plantation management and fruit supply, under the Indian contract-growers scheme was conducted in this study. Data was collected from about 96 plantations on the age of plantation, size of plantation, cost of establishment, maintenance practices and cost , yield of fresh fruit bunches, profitability of the scheme for the farmers and so on. It was observed that most of the plantations (69.8%) are in the range of 6-10 years of age while the size of 1-5 ha dominates the sample (76%). Farmers are able to procure land and source fund for the establishment of plantations. Farmers also perform maintenance activities (irrigation, weeding and fertilizer application) satisfactorily, though incure considerable cost on the activities. Statistical analysis indicates that weeding and fertilizer applications have significant effect (at 99.9 and 90.0% levels respectively) on the total maintenance cost. Harvesting and haulage of fruits are well organized to ensure prompt processing of fresh fruit bunches for the mill to achieve the desired quality of palm oil. The farmers make profit from the scheme but some farmers are faced with the problems of pest infestation of the fruit, water stress and lack of fund. Farmers should be given continuous training on plantation management. There should be plan for the establishment of additional mills to cater for the expansion of the programme as more farmers are interested in the scheme.
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