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Farmers laud Edo government reforms in oil palm sector 

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Smallholder farmers in Edo State have applauded the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration for creating the right environment to attract the investment in the Oil Palm Sector. 
   
The applaud came on the heels of about N69b committed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP).A cross section of the farmers, who spoke to journalists, in Benin City, said the investment would revolutionalise the oil palm sector in the state, which will have a spiral effect on other aspects of the economy.
   
A farmer in Okada axis of the state, Mrs. Esosa Igbinoba, said the investment would allow a number of the plantation owners expand their hectarage and processing capacity, which will have positive effect on smallholder farmers in the axis.
 
According to her: “We were excited when we heard that the CBN will be committing billions of naira for the development of the oil palm sector in the state. We already have two heavyweights in Nigeria’s oil palm sector, namely Okomu Plc. and Presco Plc., in the state. The investment further opens up the field for more players.
 
“Particularly, we want to thank the Governor for making the land available for the plantation owners and smallholder farmers to access the fund. We are very confident that the investment will transform the state for the better.”
 
Barr. Emmanuel Usen, said the state governor has shown uncommon resolve in unlocking land assets to attract investment, noting: “We have experienced a new wave of agricultural revolution in Edo State with the governor’s determined effort to create wealth and job opportunities for youths with the ESOPP. It is going to change a lot of things.“We know that the investment will last for years, with each stage involving the employment of a number of people in the plantations. About 600,000 people are expected to benefit from the activities. We can’t ask for more than this, as long as our people are gainfully engaged.”


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