Economy diversification: AKS Info Boss harps on improved oil palm yields - Paul Ukpabio's Blog

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Saturday, 19 September 2020

Economy diversification: AKS Info Boss harps on improved oil palm yields


By Hannah Usoro Akpanekot 


With the priority placed by government  on Agriculture in its economy diversification-drive, oil palm farmers have been urged to increase their yeilds through improved production methods. 

Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Comrade Ini Ememobong gave the charge early today  Thursday, September 17,  in Ikot Ekpene during the 3rd Oil Palm Submit held at the Ikot Ekpene Village Council Hall. 

Comrade Ini Ememobong who was presenting a paper on "The  Role of Small Scale Oil Palm Farmers in Nigeria Economy", noted that, the importance of oil palm as a major product of  Agriculture cannot be over emphasized and called on oil palm farmers to step up their yeilds by adapting good pruduction methods. 

Represented by the Director of Strategy in the ministry, Elder Joseph Etem, the state image maker identified the major economic importance of oil palm to include: being a high yieldig source of edible and industrial oils,  strong producer of Vitamin A and good source of treatment balm, amongst others.

He observed that the derievable benefits of oil palm is more sustainsble than other vegetable oil  as a large percentage of it used in food production and  industrial materials, advising that, oil palm farmers should ensure the sustainability of a value chain through availability of the product for domestic and other uses.

The Information Boss assured that the state government, with its priority in agriculture, will continue to synergise with oil palm farmers to harness the potentials in oil palm to boost its economy diversification. 

In his keynote address, the Executive Director, directorate of Agricultural Investment, Akwa Ibom Investment Corporation(AKICORP), Pastor Umo Eno, represented by the Head of department, Agricultural Investment, Mr. Ofonmbuk Nelson, decried the situation where oil palm was abandoned in pursuit of crude oil which  plundered Nigeria into a mono economy.

He mentioned that oil palm was among the first commodities traded in Nigeria for hard currency and thanked the state Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel whom he said attaches premium on oil palm development with over 100 oil palm farmers already profiled and recommended for CBN assistance in oil palm development initiative. 

Earlier, the President of Oil palm Plantation owners Multipurpose cooperative Society, Mr. Udeme Bassey Edet, explained that the event was a yearly programme with the aim of  promoting comparative advantage among oil palm farmers.

With the year 2020 theme, as, "Cluster Farming as poverty Alleviation Strategy" Mr. Udeme Bassey said, farmers needed team work to achieve their set goals of sustainability in line with Governor Emmanuel's drive for Agro-industries in his Completion Agenda. 

He thanked the state government for the donation of 500 oil palm seedlings to farmer through the state Ministry of Agriculture last year and appealed for more farm inputs, with the hope that community plantation development scheme would be reactivated for tree crops in Akwa Ibom.

In his opening remarks, the chairman of the occasion, Obong Akpan Tom Akpaoko called for more collaboration that will enhance implementation for higher yeilds by Akwa Ibom oil palm farmers. 

He encouraged participants to work towards ensuring that oil palm is returned as one of the very essential commodities to boost diversification of the economy from crude oil dependency.

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