TODAY -

Is proposed Oil Palm Plantation under the National Mission on Edible Oil and Oil Palm behind recent violence in Jiribam ?

YFPHR *



The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Government of India had identified 66,652 ha in 6 districts of Manipur viz. Bishnupur, Chandel, Churachandpur, Imphal West, Thoubal and Urkhul.

Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while delivering an address during the online foundation stone laying ceremony of Manipur Water Supply Schemes on 23rd July, 2020, appealed to the farmers in North Eastern States to take up Oil Palm cultivation with an aim to make India Self-sufficient in edible oils.

The Prime Minister recommended the state government of North Eastern Region to set up Oil Palm Missions in the respective States to Promote cultivation of the Oil Palm.

To implement the same, a total sum of Rs. 839 Lakhs were given approval for the Financial Year 2021-2022 while a sum of Rs. 935 Lakhs were given approval for Financial Year 2022-2023 by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare Department of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare vide letter F. No. 3-31/2021-NMEO-OP(SB) E-102798 Dated 17/12/2021 and 10/10/2022.

Unfortunately, no action plan for the financial year 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 could be seen updated. However, its sure as per the year wise allocation under NMEO (OP), the budget allocated for the entire mission for these FY 2023-2024, 2024-2025 and 2025-2026 is much higher compared to 2021-2022.

We should keep in account that for the entire project of the Oil Palm Plantation mission in North Eastern States of India and Andaman and Nicobar Island, the Government of India have announced a sum of Rs. 11,040 Crores.

It is important to note that in Jiribam alone 7000 hectares of land were identified based on online survey conducted by contacting village chiefs and local reputed NGOs, in which the Bhutangkhang of Borbekra Subdivision was proposed for the plantation. Adaptive trial was initiated in Jiribam earlier, however, the people from Jiribam opposed firmly to stop the plantation and protect the environment.

Bhutangkhang is one of the village which is badly hit by the recent violence which erupted in Jiribam on the 8th of June, 2024 in which many houses were burnt down while more than 500 people were displaced from their own villages.

It is important to analyze that whether the violence is being used as a means by the Government of India to acquire the land for the plantation of the Oil Palm undermining the rights of the Indigenous Peoples.

This area is very critical to analyze as the acquisition of land through proper channel with the Free Prior and Informed Consent is never implemented well in any of the Developmental Projects being initiated by the Government and its allied corporates. Therefore, we fear that violence is being used by the GOI to make the people displaced by using its machineries.

Lastly, it is also very important to analyze the creation of the Buffer Zones in Churachandpur District in which large area is covered by the foot hills which are suitable for the plantation of Oil Palm and Government has identified 11662 Hactres of land for the plantation of Oil Palm alone in Churanchandpur District.


* Youth's Forum for Protection of Human Rights (YFPHR) wrote this article for e-pao.net
The sender can be contacted at youthforum(DOT)humanrights(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on June 21 2024.



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