Foundation empowers oil palm farmers in Ondo
Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) has decried the underutilization of palm production, stressing that farmers can make more profit with modern technology.
The PIND facilitator, Dr. Samuel Dare, disclosed this during the demonstration and commissioning of the small scale processing equipment for palm oil farmers at Iju, Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State.
Dare said the intervention in agriculture was aimed at training fabricators in the production of the modern equipment to alleviate poverty and create more employment opportunities among smallholder oil palm farmers in the Niger Delta.
PIND donated a set of digester press, sterilizer and clarifier worth N750, 000 to the farmers, assuring more intervention for the farmers who wish to get the equipment by subsidising the price by half.He added that the functional test of the machines was done to show the farmers that the new technology would move up their profit.
“The one that is commonly used in Ondo State can only extract about 8 per cent of the palm oil in the local palm fruits that has up to 11 per cent of palm oil. The agric palm has 21 per cent oil content but the machine they are using here can only extract 11 or 12 per cent at peak season. “So, we see virtually that half of the palm oil in the palm fruits are being thrown away; that is the essence for the introduction of this new technology,” he said. He revealed that the new equipment were being used in other parts of the country to maximise palm oil extraction and profit of farmers, estimating their extraction from the palm fruits to an increase of 15 to 18 per cent.
“With the adoption of this new technology, the farmers will get more returns from their labour. Our goal is that at least they should get 40 per cent income through the adoption of this equipment.”Abubakar Yusuf, the supervisor from Mohat Nigeria Limited, who trained the fabricators in the state, said the new innovation eases the stress associated to the old machines.
Apart from the quantity and volume of oil extracted, Yusuf added, the new fabrication provides more qualitative product without fibres, hygienic and with two to three years storage durability.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Ondo State Governor on Agriculture, Pastor Akin Olotu, lauded the foundation for its many agricultural interventions across the three senatorial districts of the state, especially in agriculture. The beneficiaries, alongside the chairman of Ondo State Fabricators, Mr Oladimeji Success, commended the foundation for the intervention and pledged to adopt the new equipment.
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