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RSPO commits $300,000 to boost palm oil production in Edo

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) says it has committed $300,000 into the promotion of sustainable palm oil production in Edo State.

Joseph d’Cruz, the CEO of RSPO disclosed this at the official launch of the Community Outreach and Engagement Programme in Edo State on Monday.

D’Cruz, represented by Inke Van der Sluijs, global director, market transformation, RSPO said the amount was for the implementation of the Community Outreach and Engagement Programme in the state.

He said the programme would last for 20 months, adding that the organisation was responsible for the growing supply and market acceptance of certified sustainable palm oil globally. According to him, we have high expectations about this programme for which we have allocated $300,000.

He added that in other countries, the organisation has invested in smallholder programmes through its Smallholder Support Fund.

“These programmes typically improve yields and lower costs of production and therefore generate more income for the farmers.

He further added that the funds help in building capacity and knowledge on best management practices.

D’Cruz also explained that Nigeria produces approximately 1/3 of the palm oil volume in Africa and 10 percent of that is RSPO certified. He also disclosed that most of the production volume which is 81 percent of certified material comes from Edo State.

“RSPO is a membership-based organisation that unites all stakeholders in the palm oil sector from growers, to social and environmental NGOs.

“Today we have more than 5,400 members in over 100 countries. Of the global supply of palm oil, 19 percent is RSPO certified.

“The production of palm oil should happen with respect for the environment, workers, and local communities. Verification of compliance to the standards is done by independent third – party auditors which is important for market acceptance as well as investors’ confidence”, he stated.

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He stated that the aim of the launch was to build capacity for all stakeholders and deepen their understanding of sustainable palm oil production.

Other objectives are to enhance compliance to the RSPO standards and procedures and need to mitigate conflict and improve the relationship with our members.

While commending the Edo State government for its initiative in the palm oil sub-sector and keying into the RSPO programme, he noted that there was a need to raise awareness and collaborate on smallholder inclusion.

In his speech, the Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki said the state was changing the narrative in the oil palm production through the Edo State Oil Palm programme (ESOPP).

Obaseki, represented by Stephen Idenhere, the commissioner for agriculture and food security, commended the RSPO for organising “this all- important outreach in Edo State to further enlighten stakeholders in ensuring sustainable oil palm production in Nigeria. He assured of his government’s unwavering support and commitment for the success of the programme.

Earlier, Fatai Afolabi, the managing director of Foremost Development Services (FDS) Limited, said the launch of the programme was to sensitise the oil palm stakeholders in Nigeria on the need to mobilise them towards shifting from the traditional or unsustainable means of producing palm oil in the country

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