An agricultural scientist Mr Chidi Uba, has urged the Federal Government to invest in palm produce to diversify the economy through exports.
Uba told the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Port Harcourt that cash crops like oilpalm and palm kernel should be given priority in order to create wealth and jobs for unemployed graduates.
“Over concentration on oil and gas is the biggest problem of Nigeria. Before the exploration of oil and gas, the mainstay of the economy included palm oil, cocoa and groundnut. Today, palm oil is the second largest selling cash crop with Malaysia taking the lead, but it was Nigeria that gave it to Malaysia,’’ the agriculturist said. Uba said the revival of that sector was imperative to compliment the vision of the President’s transformation agenda.
He urged the Federal Government to create programmes that would spur local production of palm oil in areas that it had a comparative advantage to grow. The agriculturist described palm oil as an indispensable commodity that could be transformed into different productions.
According to him, it can be used in production of soaps, creams and a host of other useful products that man needs everyday. He said that the country had lost billions of naira due to its negligence of palm production, adding that its revival was non-negotiable. The agriculturist advised farmers to continue to boost the nation’s economy through committed agricultural engagements.