The Alia Palm Project (APP) has commenced a series of ‘Farm Hall’ sensitisations in Makurdi, Benue, with the unveiling of Tenera Palm.
Alex Addingi, the special adviser to the Benue State governor on international investment, quoted Sam Agwa, an agriprenuer and resource person at the unveiling, as highlighting the importance of the project.
Agwa, while anchoring a session, said the initiative was aimed at ensuring that the new Benue, under Governor Hyacinth Alia, becomes Nigeria’s oil palm revolution spotlight. He said that the project would revolutionise Benue’s agricultural landscape.
Agwa revealed that Tenera Palm had the potential of an annual output of over 150 liters of red oil per tree; translating to a potential N15 million income for farmers with just 100 fruiting stands.
He said he believed that the new Benue, under Alia’s leadership, would transform into an oil palm industrial hub within the next three years to four years.
Agwa said that the mass adoption and cropping by individuals, households and communities held the key to lifting thousands, if not millions of Benue’s impoverished population out of multidimensional poverty and into financial prosperity.
Qrisstuberg Amua of the British Canadian University Obudu, Cross River, added academic and research weight to the initiative.
Amua highlighted the enormous economic and developmental potential derivable from the numerous by-products of the oil palm, with a wide spectrum of industrial value additions.
He urged the Benue government to adopt the oil palm as a star cash crop, citing the success stories of Asian countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.
The ‘Farm Hall’ stakeholders’ sensitisation, orchestrated by APP, signals the start of a transformative journey of several scheduled ‘Farm Hall’ sensitisation to hold from January to March 2024.
Being Governor Alia’s brainchild, the APP, aims to subsidize over two million Tenera palm seedlings to Benue farmers this cropping season; fostering accelerated tree crop economic growth and climate-smart developmental sustainability.
Lead anchors, Gabriel Sule and Addingi, stressed that APP’s pooling of private funding ensured quality hybrid seedlings directly from Benue’s local nurseries.
The project is expected to allow the public, women, girls, youth, and farmers to tap into a prosperous tree crop agricultural future.
APP sets in motion a dynamic shift towards a thriving oil palm economy, not just locally but with international footprints.