Abuja - Stakeholders at the just-concluded First International Palm Produce Conference (IPPC) have urged the Federal Government to maintain the ban on the importation of vegetable oil into the country.
They said this would improve the local production, processing and marketing of palm oil along the entire value chain.
This was one of the decisions reached at the three-day conference jointly organized by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with the National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria (NPPAN) at the Le-Meridien Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
The conference noted that the palm oil industry has suffered neglect over the years due to over dependence on crude oil revenue, inadequate improved planting materials and low investment in large commercial farms.
The participants urged the Federal Government to sustain the initiatives in the Transformation Agenda of the present administration, especially the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), National Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP), and the Nigerian Agric-Business and Agro-Industry Development Initiative (NAADI).
Other decision reached at the conference include an appeal to the State and Local Governments to make land available to oil palm farmers without many encumbrances, provision of adequate infrastructure in the rural areas to encourage youths who would want to take to farming as a business and maintain the 35 percent duty on importation of crude palm oil.
The objective of the conference was to bring global stakeholders in the palm industry together for the purposes of sharing ideas and exchanging information on new technologies and all related issues aimed at improving production, processing and marketing of palm oil along the entire value chain.
- CAJ News