In a bid to revamp the palm oil sector, the National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria (NPPAN) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) for the production of 20million oil palm seedlings to boost production of smallholder farmers.
The MoU was signed by both organisations during a facility tour by NPPAN at the research institute of oil palm in Benin, Edo recently, a statement states.
Alphonsus Inyang, president, NPPAN, who was newly elected, said that the association was working with the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) to mass-produce high-yielding oil palm seeds that will start bearing fruits in two years.
Iyang stated that this is to enable farmers to increase yield per hectare to the highest levels in the industry, without increasing their production areas.
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He says that NPPAN seeks to develop at least 100,000 hectares of oil palm plantations across 24 states in the country within the next four years.
He added that the association will provide training, technical support, extension services, and access high yielding seedlings among others to smallholder oil palm farmers across the country.
The president requested a minimum of 5,000 hectares from state governments whose states have a comparative advantage in the production of the crop.
He solicited for collaborations with the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure that rural farmers easily access the N20billion development fund allocated to five crops in which oil palm is included.
Speaking on the associations newly sworn-in executives, Inyang reiterated that the new executive of the association will work on the development of the country’s oil palm industry.
He said the election into state chapters’ executives’ council would be conducted before April.
Inyang said that the association would collaborate with industry stakeholders, such as the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, Ministry of Agriculture, NIFOR, Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), state governments, CBN, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and NAFDAC among others, to develop the industry and support smallholder farmers.
Henry Olatujoye, outgoing national president, appreciated the Federation Agricultural Commodities Association of Nigeria (FACAN) National President, Victor Iyama, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and NIFOR, for their support to the association.
Olajutoye praised the Akwa Ibom State Government for hosting the First International Conference on Oil Palm in 2013 (IPPC 2013) in Uyo, which was attended by many countries.
He acknowledged the contribution of the Ondo State Government to the development of the oil palm sector.
NPPAN newly elected national executive council members are Inyang; Standard Igwe, vice-president (Southeast); Vice President (Southsouth), Harrison Okpamen; Omiyale Abiodun, vice president (Southwest); Hassan Wada, vice president (Northcentral); Kayode Babatola, National general secretary; Victor Atu, assistant general secretary; Bobade Adebayo, national treasurer; Adaugo Obi, national financial secretary; Bernadette Enanem, public relation officer; Steve Eghen and Amos Gandu – ex-officials.