To accelerate the growth and development of the sector, agricultural experts have recommended for increased investment in the production of oil palm.
On Tuesday in Lagos, they each stated this in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria.
They experts remarked in light of a report that Nigeria bought palm oil worth N299.6 billion from 2017 to 2022, according to a report that was published last week.
According to the newspaper, which used quarterly figures from the National Bureau of Statistics, “Palm Crude Oil” is frequently among the top five agricultural imports into the nation.
The National Agriculture and Extension Research Liaison Service fellow Prof. Adetunji Iyiola called the importation of oil palm by an agrarian nation like Nigeria an anomaly.
Iyiola stated that specialists must create fresh plans to increase domestic oil palm production in the nation.
“The strategy to boost the oil palm sector is to go back to the basics.
“What we need is to make a new habit of investing in oil palm production in Nigeria. It is a very lucrative business.
“We should also invest more in the local processing of oil palm.
“Within the space of four to five years, an investment in oil palm would have begun yielding returns; therefore, we need to go back to the basics.
“We have money bags that should invest in the sector, we should see cultivating oil palm as a long-term investment and should include the entire value chain from production, to processing and export.
“We should not import palm oil as a nation, we have a very fertile land for oil palm production from Benin to Osun to Ondo we have good palm that can grow well,” Iyiola stated.
He asserts that all of the South-South states of the nation are suitable for the growth and maintenance of oil palm.
He urged the government to make investments in oil palm cultivation and agricultural extension.
“The farmers need to be equipped with information on oil cultivation to boost local production.
“Government should also aid the local processing of oil palm, the entire value chain should be boosted for the funds we waste in palm oil importation to be invested back into the economy,’’ he said.
Co-founder of Corporate Farmers International Mr. Akin Alabi said more work needed to be put into growing, processing, and marketing the vegetables.
Alabi stated that in order to expand the industry, the nation must address the problems associated with the manufacturing and processing of the commodity.