Farmer Urges Government To Support Palm Oil Farmers
The Managing Director of JEKON Integrated Farms Nig. Ltd, Mr. Godswealth Henry, has called on the Federal Government to include palm oil in its lists of agriculture produce for development. The Director made this call during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Thursday.
According to him, the Federal Government should give some support to the palm oil industry considering the numerous and multi-purpose usage of the palm oil and its by-products.
According to him, the efforts in developing palm oil farming have always been spearheaded and carried out by individuals and initiates of the private sector.
He said, ”The palm oil farmers are still struggling to meet the nation’s demand, especially during the flat seasons’ and various applications to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to help the farmers to realize the increasing rate of demand for palm oil have not been successful.”
”Palm oil, in addition to cooking, is also in high demand in households and cosmetics industries.”
Henry stated that even though his company owns two palm oil estates in Cross River and Akwa Ibom states respectively, their outputs are not enough to meet the demands of the produce.
He disclosed that between January and May, which are the palm oil peak season, the company’s milling factory produced 50 tonnes of palm oil weekly and that during the flat season, usually between June and December, the milling plant can hardly produce five tonnes of palm oil a week.
He stated that once the moisture and fatty acids in palm oil are removed, the oils could be stored for years without spoiling. This, he said was hardly done in the country.
Henry said that the company also used the palm oil by-products to make soaps and poultry feeds for boiler among other products.
He said that during the flat season the company sources for palm kernels from individuals and companies that had facility to store them.