The National Agricultural Extension Research Liaison Services (NAERLS) says over 1.34 million tonnes of oil palm are imported into Nigeria from Malaysia and Indonesia annually for consumption.
NAERLS also said that this development put Nigeria as the 6th in the world in the consumption of oil palm. This is in spite of the fact that Nigeria is the most advantaged country in production of oil palm, if the government has the political will.
The South-South coordinator of the Research Services, Suleman Abudu disclosed this last Monday in a chat with The Tide in Port Harcourt.
According to him, “Indonesia and Malaysia are the two leading countries in the production of oil palm in the world”, saying that the two leading countries, however, imported oil palm seedlings from Nigeria for their palm oil production.
The agriculture expert expressed regrets that Nigeria as the producer of oil palm seedlings could not improve on its production of oil palm and be recognised in the world as such.
He said Nigeria has three types of oil palm seedlings, the Dura, Pacifera and Timera and that the last two (Pacifera and Timera) are the major ones used by Malaysia and Indonesia to produce oil palm world consumptions.
Abndu said that Nigeria has the potential to produce oil palm capable of being ranked as number one in the world but the government has to have the political will to boost agriculture, especially in the Niger Delta region.
“Nigeria can generate revenue in oil palm production, just like the country is generating revenue from oil and gas, which are the main stay of the nation’s economy”, he said.
The research officer, who blames the country’s poor policies on agriculture, expressed the need for the governments to diverse it’s economy to agriculture in order to reduce clamour for crude oil products.