The Edo State Government in conjunction with the British High Commission Abuja, and Propcom+ is working to boost production and scale up value chain activities in its oil palm sector.
The Managing Director of Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO), Mr Kelvin Uwaibi, in a recent meeting with key representatives of the partners deliberated on the state’s visionary agenda on the oil palm economy.
According to him, the strategic alliance was aimed at increasing investments, especially in the state oil palm value chain and other vital commodities, ultimately diversifying the state’s revenue streams.
“Edo State recognises the strategic imperative of diversification, incorporating additional commodities like cocoa, rubber, and cassava. Other crop products like maize and rice are also being considered by the government in a move geared towards empowering smallholder farmers, facilitating quicker returns on their investments while prioritising sustainability over mere business profitability.”
Speaking on investors reception to the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) stipulations for oil palm ventures and the related challenges, Uwaibi expressed optimism about burgeoning support from partners.
He stressed the need for a pivotal role in comprehensive corporate social responsibility guideline, envisioning Edo State as a pioneering model for sustainable business practices.
On her part, Leader of the FCDO delegation, said the visit was to organize others to bolster the agro-economy and value chain for enhanced productivity and climate resilience through sustainable forest management.
Also speaking, Team Lead Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP), Mr Churchill Oboh, called for increased collaborative efforts between investors and ESOPP to inculcate optimal practices for sustainable oil palm cultivation.
He explained that there is ongoing training initiative aimed at empowering smallholder farmers with the knowledge and skills requisite for sustainable oil palm cultivation.”
He said the government’s recent endorsement of a 2000-hectare pilot smallholder scheme for RSPO compliance reflects the administration’s unwavering commitment to fostering sustainable practices.