Nigeria will support private sector investment in agric – minister

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Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has said that the government is committed to supporting private sector investment in backward integration to make Nigeria self sufficient in oil palm production.Adesina told the management of PZ Wilmar that called on him on Wednesday in Abuja that the private sector could play a crucial role in putting Nigeria back to its rightful place by building the foundation for Nigeria to be what it should be.

He urged the management of the company to develop a robust small-holder scheme so that technical know-how could be passed on to small-scale holders.

Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of PZ Cussons, the joint-venture partner, Mr Christos Giannopoulos, gave an update on oil palm plantation project being executed by the company in Cross River State.

He said that the 26,000-hectares project was part of an integrated end-to-end value chain in oil palm production and processing. Giannopoulos explained that so far over 1.9 million high yield tenera variety seedlings hve gone through various stages and have been re planted and that in the not too distant future, it will close the supply gap of crude palm oil in the Nigerian economy.

“Furthermore, it will supply raw materials to its 1,000 tonne per day refinery,” he said.

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