Oil palm plantations a panacea for Nigeria Economy –Kogi Agric Commissioner.
ATABOR JULIUS LOKOJA.
Against the backdrop of the dwindling revenues from crude oil and the imperative of an oil palm production , Kogi State Commissioner For Agriculture, Mr David Apeh has called on the government to urgently diversify to Agriculture to hedge the impending economic doom for the country.
The Commissioner gave the warning on Monday at a one day stakeholders meeting to promote environmental protection through replacement of worn out oil palm trees in low carbon areas organized by Solidaridad West Africa in collaboeation with Youth and Women Health Empowerment Project, (YAWHEP), Development and Female Gender Initiative, (DEGENDER), Intellect Associate and Participation Initiative For Behavioral Change in Development, (PIBCID).
The Commissioner while stressing that the nation is richly blessed with abundant resources to feed its self and the rest of the world outside crude oil, lamented that Nigeria is drifting toward a direction which showed that only agriculture will Save the economy from total collapse.
Apeh recalled that in the early 50’s to late 70’s, the Nigeria economy was at its peak through agriculture stressing that, the oil which the government is relying on will soon dry off.
He described the workshop as very timely adding that both the federal and state governments are working tirelessly to promote agricultural production in the country.
He stressed further that the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) has put in committed huge amount of money to encourage farmers in agriculture in a bid to meet foods production and consumption in the country.
The commissioner charged participants to ensure that they contribute meaningfully towards development of the nations economy through agriculture.
In his paper presentation titled, ‘Effect of Deforestation and Non replacement of oil palm trees on low carbon areas, the need for sensitization/community response to positive action to environmental protection, Friday Ogezi, Senior Program Officer, ACTIONAID Nigeria stressed the need to build a sustainable ecosystem through best management practices to improve conservation and environmental protection.
Ogezi averred that” Environmentalist argue that farming of oil palm tree is extremely bad for the planet. Palm oil production is said to have been responsible for the about 8% of the world deforestation between 1990-2008. (This is because of the impact when they are worn out).
” As such, replacement of this trees becomes important to ensure environmental protection, even though technical and challenging for large scale replacement. The need for alternate crops and farming systems that help conserve and promotes afforestation becomes necessary”He educate.
Earlier, the Managing Partner Intellect Associates A&J LTD Odiba James in his welcome address said effect of climate change in the world calls for concern as there is scarcity of food stuffs in the country and high cost of living due to a drop in production.
He noted that there is the need for stakeholders to leverage on oil palm production to bring the desired changes in country.