Home Business Nigerian Govt Urged To Support Palm Oil Farmers

Nigerian Govt Urged To Support Palm Oil Farmers

Eighty percent of women in Ekuku-Agbor town are farmers and, in more ways than one, also traders, Says Charity Ebuniwa, 30, "my husband and I do oil palm farming together. He harvests them from the palm tree while I gather the bunches for processing.

Mr Godswealth Henry, the Managing Director of JEKON Integrated Farms Nig. Ltd., on Thursday urged the Federal Government to include palm oil in its lists of agriculture produce for development.

Henry gave this advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

Henry said that considering the many uses of the palm oil and its by-products, it was necessary for governments to support palm oil farmers.

According to him, the efforts in developing palm oil farming have always been propagated by individuals and private sector’s initiatives.

”The palm oil farmers are still struggling to meet the nation’s demand, especially during the flat seasons.

”And various applications to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to help the farmers to realise the increasing rate of demand for palm oil have not been successful.

”Palm oil, in addition to cooking, is also in high demand in households and cosmetics industries.”

Henry said that although his company had two palm oil estates in Cross River and Akwa Ibom, the outputs were not enough to meet demands of the produce.

He said that between January and May, which were palm oil pick season, the company’s milling factory produced 50 tonnes of palm oil weekly.

The managing Director said that during the flat season, which was between June and December, the milling plant hardly produced five tonnes of palm oil per week.

He said that when the moisture and fatty acids in palm oil were removed, the oils could be stored for years without spoiling, adding that this was hardly done in the country.

Henry said that the company also used the palm oil by-products to make soaps and poultry feeds for boiler among other products.

He said that during the flat season the company sources for palm kernels from individuals and companies that had facility to store them.

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