Group Targets International Market For Nigeria’s Oil Palm Business

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By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo  

Solidaridad West Africa has said that it aims to grow Nigeria’s oil palm production/business to compete favourably at the international market. 
The group made this  disclosure on Friday in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, during a seminar and inauguration of its Multi-Stakeholders Platform [MSP].

 Speaking with the stakeholders, , Senior Climate Specialist for Africa and Country Technical Lead, Dr Samuel Ogallah told participants that MSP was set up to promote synergy among stakeholders in the oil palm sector of Nigeria. 

Ogallah also informed oil palm farmers in the state that, setting up the body was also to increase stakeholders’ level of awareness on their direct and indirect roles in enhancing productivity in the oil palm and palm oil sub-sector through climate-smart agriculture.


He assured farmers of a transformed oil palm sector in the country if only the stakeholders follow the guidelines and awareness and best management practices for a sustainable landscape, that Solidaridad was promoting and emphasizing the goal of the programme to encourage farmers to produce oil palm that meets international best practices. 

“Promote synergy among stakeholders towards the protection of the oil palm landscape and ecosystems,” he said.

According to Ogallah, the country’s palm oil would be readily acceptable in the international market when its origin can be attributed to traceability and standardization regulated by authorities who determine how a product be presented in terms of quality and quantity.

 “When we are looking at traceability, it is a component of, when discussing the issue of standardization, standards are set by authorities and when you get into the market, there is a particular standard that consumers want to see and that they will appreciate.

“The regulation of standards is by authorities who say that the quality, quantity and the nature or the presentation of a product must be in a particular way. 

“Nevertheless, traceability is linked to it because if you look at a product, you would want to know its origin just like you would look at a product and ask what it is, you would also want to know where the product is from. so, in the oil palm sector, we want to be able to know what variety of fresh fruit bunch makes up this palm oil and then where it is from. Is it possible to know the farm or in our own case here, the chain of farms and then the processor (s) that resulted in this particular oil palm product? 

“Internationally, we want to be able to prove ultimately that palm oil that comes from Akwa Ibom state from Nigeria are deforestation free so that it will not be assumed that every palm oil on the shelf that is from Nigeria comes from farms that produce the oil palm from degrading forest. 

“So, our focus and emphasis is with our small holder farmers to adopt what we call youth intensification using best management practices so that they do not degrade forest in order to produce oil palm. But rather they keep the forest intact and the small area of palm trees they have, they are able to intensify productivity in order to increase yield”. 

He stressed that, Multi-stakeholders Platforms was seen as the link to facilitate dialogue among stakeholders in the oil palm sector so as to promote synergies between all stakeholders. 

“We have thought about who are directly involved like marketers, people that are also in the communities but are not farmers and they also have a role to play. We have the local government authorities and the marketers. All these should work together to ensure that the oil palm landscape, the oil palm ecosystem in Akwa Ibom State should be sustainable over a long period. 

“If we do the proper things and follow the guidelines and awareness that Solidaridad is promoting, the principles of best management practices, sustainable landscape that Solidaridad is promoting.

“We are going to have a transformed oil palm sector in the country. And that is not it, I can guarantee that this sustainable landscape or palm oil landscape will replace the current crude oil economy that we are talking about”. 

It would be recalled that the Solidaridad programme began its operations in Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Liberia as well as Nigeria in 2019 with their greatest focus on Ghana and Nigeria. 

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