• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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Oil palm producers caution against foreign involvement in primary production

The National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria (NPPAN) has cautioned states and local governments against involvement of foreign investors in primary production of oil palm in the country.

Amb. Alphonsus Inyang, National President of NPPAN, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.

Inyang frowned at promotion of such practices in some states in the country, describing the menace as inimical to national development.

Read also: Presco to deepen footprint with Ghanaian oil palm firm acquisition

He said that allowing foreigners to engage in primary production of the product like planting seedlings, nursery and harvest and mill would turn Nigerian citizens into labourers in their country.

“Foreign investors will pay peanuts to our people as plantation attendants while they declare billions as profit every year and our people will be struggling to feed.

“We do not want foreign investors to come and plant palm trees and any state promoting such should stop; they should not be involved in primary production.

“We do not want them in the upstream rather they should be at the downstream that is processing and value addition.

“Nigerian populace should do the planting while investors provide us with inputs such as planting materials, fertilisers, herbicides and land development for planting and they can as well offtake the harvest.’’

The president explained that discouraging foreigners from primary production would ensure the distribution of wealth of oil palm sector from rural communities being the primary producers to the millers and makers who would be the investors.

‘‘We want a robust out grower system such as the Indonesian model of the “Core and the Plasma.’’

Read also: Nigeria can reclaim largest oil palm producer status with support – MD Okitipupa

He said that the investors should build mills and provide inputs for NPPAN members to plant for them.

“Such model will create millionaires out of our people instead of taking lands from our people and allocating to big men.

“Government should talk to our association on how to make this model work,” he said.

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