Nigeria: CBN Makes Case for Smallholder Farmers

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it committed to enthroning inclusive growth in the nation’s economy through policies that would aid real sector financing.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who visited the PZ Wilmar Oil Palm Plantation in Calabar, Cross River State as part of his schedule for the 2014 Bankers Committee Retreat, extolled the effort of the joint venture project between PZ Industries and Wilmar Company Limited.

According to him, joint venture partnership is in tandem with the apex bank’s commitment towards achieving inclusive growth through real sector financing and development.

He expressed delight at the vast expanse of land estimated at about 5594 hectres covered with palm trees.

Emefiele informed the PZ Wilmar officials that CBN is initiating an entrepreneurship programme with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), whereby members will go through a skill acquisition programme, after which they will be provided requisite finance to nurture the project into viable and rewarding business enterprise.

He promised to elicit the support of the deposit money banks and the government in providing the necessary assistance for the plantation.

He also promised to put in place policies similar to rice substitution programme and extend such to palm oil production such as the joint venture palm oil plantation project the companies had initiated.

The Chaiman of PZ Industries Limited, Chief Kola Jamodu, stated that the plantation project started in 2010 with the aim of achieving 50,000 hactres of palm plantation by 2019/2020.

According to him, the venture has realized 26,000 hactres, noting that palm oil remained the largest globally consumed edible oil.

He pointed out that Asia is already saturated in terms of production potential and noted that Nigeria would become a global force and likely to regain the glory days of the 1960s given its vast landmass.

The Governor and his team were conducted round to see the training school sited within the palm oil plantation aimed at inculcating relevant skills to the Nigerian populace.

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