Says harvest will create wealth for 50 years
Urges Federal, State govts to key into programme
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
As Nigeria lost its number one position in oil palm production to Malaysia many years ago, the National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria, NPPAN, weekend, disclosed readiness to empower youths and women with free 20 oil palm seedlings.
This was disclosed by the National President, NPPAN, Amb Alphonsus Inyang, while speaking with Vanguard on activities of the association and where it needs partnership with relevant youth and women organizations on how they can be part of the association’s 10 million oil palm seedlings distribution programme.
According to Inyang, palm trees when planted will be harvested up to 50 years; one hectare of palm trees will give you a minimum profit of N2 million from the third year.
Available reports have it that Indonesia is the current largest producer of oil palm in the world, and followed by Malaysia, while Thailand occupies third position, Columbia fourth, and Nigeria sitting on fifth position.
He said: “The NPPAN hereby calls on relevant and credible youth and women organizations and associations to partner with us in the empowerment of Nigerian youths and women towards the realisation of the programme of ‘One Household 20 Palm Trees’ as we target 10 million oil palm trees that would set in motion the economic prosperity of young Nigerians and women in the development of oil palm plantations and estates across the country.
“These palm trees when planted will be harvested up to 50 years; one hectare of palm trees will give you a minimum profit of N2 million from the third year, and you make N1.5 million to make one hectare over three years.
“If they come and partner with us we will train them; make them have access to inputs; easy access to funding; enable them have partnership with relevant government development agencies; to set them on a journey of economic prosperity for ever through the establishment of these oil palm estates or plantations in their different states; and to make them different from other youths.
“For development partners, multilateral agencies, and development financial institutions, we are calling on them to partner with the association in realizing this programme.
“This programme will set Nigeria on a new pedestal for economic prosperity, will make oil palm which is our won cultural and traditional crop to take its place, and it is sustainable.
“We are calling on them to partner with us through training, access to input and finance easy for us, through funding.
“Now we are going to carry out enumeration of households across 24 States, we need their support and youths will be employed in doing the enumeration across the 24 States; from village to village to number households to get an accurate number of seedlings they want for this programme, it is an ambitious one and also a comprehensive one. We are starting in 2021 against 2022 planting season.”
He also disclosed that the distribution of 10 million seedlings by the association has commenced, “As the National President, I have given out free of charge hybrid oil palm seedlings to all the local government areas in 24 States that have comparative advantage in oil palm production. So that is what we have started as part of flagging off the programme, and we are starting the enumeration in 2021.
He also called on state governments to partner with NPPAN in keying into the programme, “State governments can say of doing 5 million oil palm trees, some 2 million, and another 3 million oil palm trees. We call on our governors to do that mostly those in North Central, part of North East, South-South, South-West and South-East geopolitical zones.
“Let the State Governments partner with us, give us land as Ondo State has done for us. Ondo State has partnered with us and as we speak we are planting there. Though the land is not free, we pay royalty very year to government which is about 10, 000 hectares.
“Some State governments can give us land of 100, 000 hectares, 50, 000 hectares or more for us to populate the place with oil palm.
The NPPAN boss also explained the important role oil palm trees play in controlling deforestation and other environmental challenges currently plaguing different parts of the country, thereofrre called on the Federal Ministry of Environment to partner with the associaion.
“This will help in taking care deforestation, and we are also calling on the Federal Ministry of Environment to put an end to the planting of monumental trees but plant economic trees, oil palm are a tree of life, it will conserve the environment and generate revenue to maintain the environment.
“We want the Federal Ministry of environment to partner with us on this, and we can produce 30 million oil palm seedlings to use around the environment in public schools, hospitals and others.
“In fact, all public institutions should be populated with oil palm trees, use them as decoration, and now a private university in Akwa Ibom State has partnered with us to use oil palm to decorate the whole environment.
“So we call on these Nigerian youths and women associations to come and partner with us. They can reach us through our website- www.nppan.ng, including our offices across the country or come to the head office at Block D, FACAN Block, Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, Old Secretariat, Area One, Garki, Abuja”, he stated.