The National President of the association, Mr Joe Onyiuke, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday, in Abuja that the call became necessary in view of the need to increase productivity and reposition the country’s oil palm industry.
According to him, as the country clocks 61, the oil palm industry deserves more attention for increased productivity to meet the demands of the increasing population.
“I appeal to the Federal Government to provide funding for small holder oil palm growers in order to close the gap in crude oil palm import and create massive employment for the masses,’’ Onyiuke said.
He, however, commended the Federal Government for including Refined Palm Oil (RPO) as one of the items that importers are restricted from accessing foreign exchange at the interbank market.
According to Onyiuke, this will close the supply gap and encourage local investments.
“It is a great development by the Federal Government, everything should be done to create and build the local economy and build local capacity.
“The small holder oil palm growers represents 70 to 80 per cent of the market; so, without a deliberate effort to fund them, the country will continue to marginalise its own,’’ he stressed.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that palm oil is of strategic importance as it is used in the production of more than half of the products sold in supermarkets globally. (NAN)