The Chief Executive Officer of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), Joseph d’Cruz, has disclosed that the organisation is committing $300,000 for the sustainable production of palm oil in Edo State
He disclosed this in Benin during the official launch of the RSPO Community Engagement and Outreach Programme in the state.
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Represented by RSPO’s global director of market transformation, Inke van der Sluijs, he said the organisation was supporting Edo State because it is doing well in palm oil production, especially with the plantation owners.
“We are looking forward to working with our implementation partner, Foremost Development Services and the Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESPOPP), an independent implementation office.
“We have high expectations about this programme for which we have allocated 200,000 USD in Edo for oil palm production.”
Joseph also disclosed that Nigeria accounted for one third of the total volumes of palm oil produced in Africa.
“Nigeria produces approximately 1/3 of the palm oil volume in Africa and 10 per cent of that oil is RSPO certified. Most of the production volume, which is 81 per cent of certified material comes from Edo State.”
According to him, RSPO is responsible for growing the supply and market acceptance of certified sustainable palm oil globally.
“These programmes typically improved yields and lowered costs of production, and therefore, generated more income for the farmers. The funds help in building capacity and knowledge on best management practices,” he said.
On his part, the Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, said the state was changing the narrative in the oil palm production through the Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP).
Represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Stephen Idenhere, the governor commended the RSPO for organising the programme in the state to further enlighten stakeholders in ensuring sustainable oil palm production in Nigeria.
Earlier, Fatai Afolabi, the managing director of Foremost Development Services (FDS) Limited, added that the launch of the programme was to sensitise the oil palm stakeholders in Nigeria on the need to mobilise them towards shifting from the traditional or unsustainable means of producing palm oil in the country.