Following its acquisition of 17,954 hectares of land from the Edo State government for palm oil cultivation as part of its backward integration drive, Dufil Prima Foods Plc, has embarked on a crop compensation payment for 1,628 farmers across 14 communities in Ovia north – east local government area of Edo State.
The payment exercise, which is being overseen by the ministry of agriculture in the state, commenced on April 8, 2019, and is expected to continue for three weeks
The move which crystallised Dufil’s backward integration drive, particularly with respect to oil palm cultivation, is also in line with the federal government’s drive for increased activities and revenue from agriculture.
This laudable project being undertaken by Dufil would see massive investment being introduced into the region. The project would not only help create job opportunities for indigenes of Edo State, but also serves to cut the importation of oil palm; a development which is in sync with the federal government’s efforts to reduce importation.
Speaking on the project, chief operating officer, Dufil Prima Foods, Mr. Madhukar Khetan, explained the project marks another significant milestone in Dufil’s commitment to attaining a further backward integrated and self-sustaining system that supports the Nigerian economy by creating employment opportunities, reducing importation and doing so in a sustainable manner.
He added that crop compensation exercise which was being carried out marks another achievement in the oil palm plantation project which would include installation of an integrated palm oil mill.
According to Khetan, in addition to this crop compensation to farmers, Dufil’s commitment to the project was worth billions of naira. He added that the next step after the compensation exercise was Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as well as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) mandatory assessments and development of nursery. He also commended Edo State’s commitment to ensuring a sustainable venture.
Recently, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, unveiled strategies while speaking during a meeting with stakeholders in the palm oil value chain. He noted that loans would be granted through the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) and Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS) at no more than nine per cent per annum to identified core investors.
Historically, Nigeria was the world’s largest producer of palm oil and such initiatives by the government and the private sector would help place Nigeria back to the global map as a leading palm oil producing country.
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