The Central Bank of Nigeria is taking action to revive the country’s palm oil industry to boost production as a way of reducing imports.
As a first stage in the initiative, the bank has implemented the “Anchor Borrowing Program” designed to create financial links between smallholders and processors through the organization of cooperatives to give producers the advantage of economy of scale.
The bank’s chief, Godwin Emefiele, expressed that the bank decided to take a leading role in reviving the country’s oil palm sector including the vegetable oils, palm oil products, and palm kernel sub-sectors, after seeing the low contribution that the sector is making toward the growth of the nation’s economy. Once a leading global producer of palm oil in the 1950s and 1960s, the country has lost its standing, and since the 1980s has been a net importer. Nigeria now ranks fifth in global production behind other countries that once asked Nigeria for production guidance.
“For the country to attain self-sufficiency,” says Emefiele, “there has to be committed development of more estate plantations and coordinated partnerships between the small holder plantation farmers and processors.”
Lynda Kiernan is Editor with HighQuest Group Media and of the Oilseed & Grain News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan at email@example.com.