The Plateau chapter of the Oil Palm Growers Association of Nigeria, has urged farmers and residents of the state to venture into the production of oil palm for commercial purposes.
Manasse Watyit, the Protem Secretary of the association in the state gave this advice in Jos.
According to him, the state will enjoy huge economic benefits by the time oil palm is grown in commercial quantity by farmers.
The secretary explained that the Federal Government had placed a ban on the importation of the product into the country in order to promote its local production.
Watyit also said that government had earmarked over N30 billion as intervention fund to support farmers to venture into the production of oil palm in the country, hence the need for farmers in Plateau to tap into the initiative.
He added that government had directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to open Micro-Finance Banks across the 36 states of the federation to enable farmers access the facility at one-digit interest.
“With the ban on importation of oil palm into Nigeria, it is a clear indication that government wants to promote the production of the product among Nigerian farmers.
“This is why it has earmarked over N30 billion for farmers to support them in producing oil palm in commercial quantity.
“We are now calling on farmers and residents of Plateau to venture into oil palm farming. This is because it has huge economic potential,’’ he said.
Watyit assured intending farmers of the product, that oil palm could be grown in any part of the state; hence there was no need to entertain fears of producing it at a loss.
“Oil palm can be grown in any part of Plateau; even in the rocky areas of Kanke and Pankshin, the lands will do excellently well,’’ he assured.