The National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria, (NPPAN) has requested the establishment of a Nigeria Oil Palm Development Council, (NOPDC) to expand and harness the “‘gold mine’” within the oil palm industry, in the hopes that Nigeria can become a world leader in a short time.
This call was made by NPPAN National President, Alphonsus Iyang, while speaking with journalists on the need for the National Assembly to pass the Nigeria Oil Palm Development Council Bill into law.
Iyang explained that the association is doing everything possible to strengthen the sub-sector but that a platform is required to actualize such a vision, hence the demand to establish a council.
“Lack of national policy on oil palm development in the country… can be done through the proposed Nigeria Oil Palm Development Council, NOPDC, just like we have the Sugar Development Council and the recently passed Rice Development Council.
“Also our smallholder farmers are really in need of support including provision of processing equipment and implements at subsidized rates, and as an association, we need a conducive environment to encourage smallholder farmers to be in production and business.”
He appealed to the National Assembly to consider and give a speedy hearing to the bill and its passage into law, noting that it is in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision and efforts to diversify the economy through agriculture.
He also called on the government to end all smuggling of oil palm products into the country and increase funding to the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research to enable them to produce more seedlings for oil palm farmers.