Calabar - Ho Dye Joan, the Plantation Head of Wilmer/PZ Cussons oil palm plantations in Cross River, says daily production of highly refined quality palm oil will reach 1 000 tons within the next five years.
Joan told visiting journalists in Calabar on Saturday that the three plantations had been planted with 600 000 high yield palm trees while 2.1 million seedlings were in nursery stages.
He also said that a training school established to provide skilled labour had trained 60 Nigerians in the past 15 months while 22 more were about graduating.
According to Joan, a scheme has been established to ensure that out growers could access the milling facilities of the agro business giant, thereby adding value to their products.
"The scheme will improve extraction of oil from the local palm tree growers/ fruits as well as increase their quality and yield,’’ he said.
Joan also said that in addition to providing suitable accommodation for most of its 13 000 direct employees at the plantations, schools and health facilities were being incorporated.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that one of the plantations visited at Calaro oil Palm Estate at Mbarakom, Akampa Local Government Area on the outskirt of Calabar, had a health centre and an ongoing housing project.
NAN reports that the plantations at Mbarakom, Ibiae and Biase, are fully mechanised and cover 50 000 hectares of land.
They are expected to produce between 1 200 tons and 1 500 tons of refined palm oil daily by 2018.
The high yield palm trees being planted in the plantations would start fruiting after about 38 months.