Ruchi Soya partners with Odisha farmers to promote Oil Palm

Bhubaneswar: Promising to promote oil palm cultivation in Odisha through partnership with farmers, leading FMCG player Ruchi Soya on Friday said it plans to set up a processing plant in the state at a cost of Rs 30 crore.
"Ruchi Soya is the largest player in Odisha with access to 28,000 hectares land in Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Bhadrak and Kendrapara districts," Dinesh Shahra, Founder and Managing Director of Ruchi Soya told reporters here.
Under a tripartite agreement with Odisha government and farmers, Ruchi Soya has exclusive rights to procure Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFB) of oil palm from farmers. Upon receipt of the raw material from the farmers, the company will pay to the farmers on every 20th day directly through their bank accounts. There are no middlemen in the transaction, he said.
"The entire process is transparent. Rates of FFB are linked to international prices of palm, thus availing benefits of global markets to local farming community," he said.
Since Odisha occupies an important position in the company's operations, Ruchi Soya has decided to establish a plant in the state to manufacture crude palm oil at an investment of Rs 30 crore, Shahra said, adding, the plant will be operational in one of the four districts under oil palm cultivation in two years.
Ruchi Soya may initially set up 10 tonnes per hour FFB processing mill. Presently, we are associated directly with over 4,000 farmers. At present, over 6,000 persons are directly or indirectly linked with this project which has a larger employment generation potential, he said.
Voicing concern over huge imports of edible oil, he said over 50 per cent of edible oil consumed in India comes through import. Total imports of vegetable oil, including crude and refined, is set to hit a new record of 10.8 to 11 million tonnes this year, Shahra said.
With a potential of 56,000 hectares land suitable for oil palm cultivation, Odisha can play a pivotal role in enhancing palm oil production in the country, he added.