Oil palm producers seek N200bn intervention fund from CBN
To revamp the dwindling fortunes of the oil palm industry, the National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria (NPPAN) has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to set aside a minimum of N200 billion intervention fund to support smallholder oil palm farmers under the oil palm development initiative.
The association, during its National Executive Council meeting, also called on the Federal Government to urgently enact a law establishing the National Oil Palm Development Council to regulate, incentivise investment, fund and provide a level playing field for the industry.
According to a communiqué signed by the National Executive council headed by the National President, Alphonso Inyang, the association demanded the release of 25 per cent of all import duties charged from the importation of oil palm products to the association for backward integration and opening of new oil palm plantations in the country.
They further demanded improved funding of Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) for increased research and production of hybrid seedlings and urged the CBN to persuade the Bankers’ Committee to accept oil palm plantations as collaterals and be included in the National Collateral Register (NCR).
While urging state governments with comparative advantage in oil palm production to provide land for the increased cultivation of the economic crop, they asked for sustainable planting of oil palm trees.
They urged them to also partner with the association to produce and distribute 10 million hybrid oil palm seedlings to smallholder farmers yearly.