The Zonal Coordinator of National Agriculture Extensional Research Liaison Services (NAERLS) in Rivers State, Dr Suleman Abudu says Nigeria consumes over 1.34 million tonnes of oil palm imported from Indonesia and Malasia annually.
Abudu stated this in his remark, last Monday, while addressing the oil palm productions trainees of Total E & P Company in Port Harcourt.
According to him, Nigeria has what it takes to be rated the highest producer of oil palm in the world, but that the country presently is among the highest consumer of oil palm imported from foreign countries.
“Nigeria produces all types of oil palm seedlings used by both Indonesia and Malaysia, who currently export palm oil products to Nigeria in high currencies”, he said.
He urged the trainees to take the training opportunity on oil palm production very seriously, assuring them that oil palm production is more Iucrative than petroleum business, if properly handled.
The Agriculturist said Nigeria has both Dura, Pacifera and Tinera seedlings used in producing oil palm in any terrain, saying that the only challenges oil palm farmers normally have are land and finance.
According to him, oil palm farming requires large hectares of land and huge amount of money to be accomplished.
He commended Total E & P Company for introducing young farmers in the state to oil palm production.
Agudu said the gesture would help boost agriculture and employment in the country.
Declaring the training open, the Manager, Business Development Unit of Total E & P, Mr Philippe Desriac said the essence of the training was to sponsor some serious local farmers on oil palm production in the state.
He said the gesture was part of the company’s corporate social responsibility to reduce unemployment among the youths and also boost the economy of the state.
Desriac charged the trainees to make good use of the opportunity to have their future better, assuring the people of the company’s support in making their dreams a reality.