15/05/2008 (Business Day, Nigeria) - Participants at the workshop on development of oil palm industry in Nigeria have called on the Federal Government to set up a Trust Fund for Oil Palm Development in the country within the context of private-public partnership.
This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a one-day sensitization workshop on Development of the oil palm industry in Nigeria organized by the Federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with the National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria which held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state.
The workshop also called on the Governments at the Federal, State and Local Governments to provide simple and efficient palm oil mini-milling machines to farmers at affordable price.
The workshop which has as its theme "Best Practices in Production, Processing and Marketing of palm oil" was designed to sensitize stakeholders in the palm produce sector on the need to ensure quality and standard for our palm oil for both local and international markets.
The event was attended by stakeholders from both the public and private sectors.
In the communiqué the participants noted with appreciation the various policies and programmes of the federal Government which have resulted in the strengthening of public private partnership (PPP) and its positive impact on the palm industry. However, the participants urged Governments (Federal and State) to reclaim swamps and creeks in the Niger Delta for oil palm production;
The participants also wants government to replicate the oil palm development project in Bayelsa State Funded by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Development Fund (EDF) to other states in the Niger Delta;
State Governments to revive and privatize their oil palm plantations to improve operational efficiency and federal government to include the trading of palm oil on the floor of the Abuja securities and Commodity
Exchange Commission (ASCE)
Participants noted the measures and facilities put in place by NAFDAC to ensure that food production business is properly guided, monitored and tested in order to meet international standards. They applauded the introduction of "Combined Certificate of Manufacture and Free Sale "by the organization as a way of ensuring quality standard to guard against further rejection of Nigeria’s exports in the countries of destination.
Participants noted the effort of NIFOR in Research and Development to improve productivity in the sector and urged to ensure adequate funding of the Institute and to provide operational infrastructure support to farmers to reduce cost of production similarly to what obtains in Malaysia.