By: Oluwatosin Iyun
Stakeholders under the aegis of Oil Palm Growers Association of Nigeria (OPGAN) have at the weekend, called on the Federal Government (FG) to assist in reviving the oil palm sector.
Speaking at a town hall meeting held at the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR), OPGAN, National President, Mr Joe Onyiuke, said this becomes imperative so as to further create wealth for farmers.
While also inaugurating its liaison office, it said the meeting was to garner support from the Federal Government to revive the oil palm sector.
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“We are in NIFOR today to strategise on the way forward on the ANCHOR Borrower’s Programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. More importantly to commission our new liaison office in NIFOR which is key to us as oil palm farmers.
“With this office our farmers will be able to get all the benefits and training required for the cultivation of oil palm,” he said.
On his part, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emiefele, represented by Mr Anthony Ufechukwu, Special Adviser on Development Finance to the Governor, said the CBN was committed to reviving the oil palm sector to stop importation.
“The CBN is very emphatic about reviving the oil palm sector. In doing this, we started by reaching out to large companies like Presco, Okomu and others, with a view to ensuring that the plant and assist small scale farmers.
“I know that OPGAN group consist of persons who provide more than 90 per cent of oil palm consumed in households in Nigeria,” he added.
However, he noted that farmers operating under a good organisation, would make it easier for the CBN to fund them, adding that part of the package would be to insure the farmers and make them self-sustaining in the next 10 years.