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          Highest oil palm yield recorded by woman farmer 


Oil palm is the highest oil yielding cultivated crop in the world, yielding around five tonnes of oil per hectare. Realising the importance of oil palm in marching towards achieving vegetable oil security in the country, Government of India is implementing the Oil Palm Development Programme in the potential States. Taking up the challenge of cultivation of a new crop in Mysore District, Mrs. Suma Kumar could harvest a record yield of 53.20 tonnes / hectare (mean of 3 years). Indian Institute of Oil Palm Research honoured her with the ''Best Farmer Award'' during the Kisan Mela Celebrations.

Smt. Suma Kumar M.S., w/o Late Kumar M.S., Marse Village, Mandakahalli (P.O.), Varuna (Hobli), Mysore District, Karnataka State could harvest a record yield of 53.20 tonnes / hectare (mean of 3 years). This is the highest ever yield recorded in India so far and the innovative practices adopted by the farmer could be adopted by other oil palm growers in different regions for maximizing productivity in oil palm.

Smt. Suma Kumar M.S. planted oil palm in an area of 0.56 hectare during June, 1996 and the plantation is of 15 years old now. During the juvenile period, the farmer cultivated banana as intercrop during the first and second year of planting oil palm. She adopted controlled irrigation at weekly intervals. A special practice undertaken by the farmer is that the trenches were made across the slope in the garden for draining the excess water during monsoon season and the conservation of available moisture during the long dry period experienced in the region and irrigation canals are closed for maintenance. Another soil moisture conservation measure was undertaken by providing the palm basin with mulching utilizing the cut fronds obtained during oil palm harvesting. Fertilizers were applied to the oil palm crop in six split doses, thus, maximizing the fertilizer use efficiency. In addition, she applied poultry manure mixed with neem cake available locally at low cost. It is to be noted that the poultry manure is kept for 2-3 months for decomposition in the trenches available throughout the field along with trash and cut leaves and well decomposed material was applied in palm basins. Care was taken to apply the manures and fertilizers within the area of 3 metres radius in basin. In addition, tank slit was applied, once in five years, to the garden to improve the soil physical conditions. Fresh fruit bunches harvesting was done with pole at weekly intervals. Average height of the palm is around 8.00 metres. The crop gives an excellent look with all spindles opened and no deficiency or disorder is observed anywhere in the field.

The farmer could harvest an oil palm yield of 58.24 tonnes in 2009-10, followed by 46.71 tonnes in 2010-11 and 54.68 tonnes per hectare (as on January, 2012) during 2011-12. Thus, during the last three years, she could achieve an average yield of 53.20 tonnes per hectare over a period of 3 years.

Indian Institute of Oil Palm Research invited the progressive farmer for the Kisan Mela celebrations held at the Institute on 15.02.2012 and honoured the progressive farmer with ''Best Farmer Award''. We wish that more success stories emerge in oil palm sector to serve as a motivating factor for other oil palm growers in the country.        

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ICAR-Indian Institute of Oil Palm Research

 Pedavegi, West Godavari Dt., Andhra Pradesh. 534 450.