By Adejoke Adeleye
Ogun State Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Samson Odedina, has emphasized the need to expand the state’s oil palm plantation.
The commissioner gave the hint during a visit by delegations of the State Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to Lomiro oil palm Plantation in Ogun Waterside.
Odedina said the oil-palm expansion will enhance youth employment, as well as create other opportunities.
He said the joint venture would further boost oil palm production as interested farmers can venture into any aspect of oil production.
“Oil palm value chain is very wide and vital. That is why CBN has come to help in Ogun because we want this place to be a model for individuals and organisations. We also want our youths to establish oil palm estates such as this.
“We are looking at ways of boosting oil palm production in the State. This is a huge employment generation venture, the value chain for employment generation is very high, it is one of the things we are going to be using in Ogun as value chain opportunities”, he said.
Odedina appreciated the General Manager, Ogun State Agricultural Corporation, (ADC), Mr. Femi Soremekun and the Estate Manager, Mr. Ganiyu Omitogun, for their foresight in replanting more palm trees as replacements of diminishing ones, as well as raising seedlings for healthy nursery.
Head, Development Finance, CBN, Abeokuta Branch, Dr. (Mrs.) Oluyemisi Olukoya, expressed satisfaction at the various stages of operations of the plantation.
She said the apex bank was ready to make oil palm, a more flourishing business in Ogun State, through rehabilitation, replication and expansion.
“We are particularly impressed because we can see the entire Oil Palm value chain being well established and on ground in this estate, right from nursery, production, marketing, as well as processing.
“We are also looking at its suitability for investment in the Oil Palm development initiative of the CBN, because it is one of our focal commodities”, she said.
Lomiro Oil Palm Plantation, established in 1957, occupies 1,462 hectares, with an average production capacity of 3,000 litres of palm oil per day.
It has over 200 staff.