Kogi state government has been urged to embrace massive Palm oil production to increase the state’s internally generated revenue.
James Odiba, multi stakeholder platform coordinator, Solidaridad who made the call during a recent briefing in Lokoja, said that the state can leverage the opportunities in palm oil production to revamp the sector.
“Solidaridad is deliberately in Kogi to see how it could help smallholder farmers improve their standard of living through massive production of palm oil,” he said.
“We are today in three Local Government Areas of Kogi: Dekina, Ofu and Olamaboro working with over 30,000 small holder farmers in the production of palm oil, who will today give us feedback on their activities.”
“With Palm oil selling at about $3,546 per ton in the international market, Solidaridad as an experienced regional-based, solution-oriented organisation that promotes inclusive sustainable markets and development that work for the poor, to eradicate poverty.”
According to him, millions of smallholder farmers and workers earn their livelihood across the palm oil value chain, adding that an increase in productivity will impact the livelihoods positively.
“In spite of an increasing demand for palm oil globally, the production has not resulted in beneficial returns to the small-holders in Kogi, Nigeria and West Africa as a whole.”
“There is also the concern that despite international and domestic initiatives and standards, the expansion of the oil palm sector comes with significant climate and sustainability challenges including peat, forest ecosystems, emissions from inputs and effluents that demands government’s intervention and collaboration.”
“This is why the National Initiative for Sustainable Climate Smart Oil Palm for Small Holders (NISCOPS) Project in Kogi were implemented in three (3) Local Governments in Kogi in 2020 namely’ Ofu, Dekina and Olamaboro to help matters”.
Speaking also separately, Amos Echu, Ibrahim Musa and Mohammed Sani gave vivid accounts of activities of their small holders farmers in their respective LGAs and their appreciation of what Solidaridad was doing for them to improve and expand.
Akin Jimoh, director of agriculture, State ministry of Agriculture, said the government, and through his ministry had put down a blueprint through which it could boost oil palm Production in the state.
He commended Solidaridad for its intervention programme toward boosting Oil Palm production in Kogi for over the period of three years now.
He said “I want to assure you that Kogi government will give you all the necessary support and cooperation toward this project which is aimed at bettering the lives of our citizens especially the farmers and our economy for growth and development.”