Yahaya Bello Promises To Partner Agency To Develop Oil Palm Plantations
Kogi state Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has reiterated his commitment to making agriculture the mainstay of the state economy as he has given assurance to support the Oil Palm Plantation Development Advocacy Network (OPPDAN) towards realising its objectives of making oil palm value chain the drivers of the economy.
The governor gave the assurance , during the stakeholders meeting of the Oil Palm.Plantation Development Advocacy Network ( OPPDAN) held on Thursday in Lokoja.
The governor who was represented by the Managing Director, Agricultural Development Project ( ADP) Bello Ogrima George , stated that the government will do everything within her powers in supporting the oil palm initiative to diversify the state economy.
He said when fully developed, oil palm plantation farming is capable of employing teeming youths that are roaming the streets thereby creating enormous wealth for the people.
He added that the government is working out strategies that will ensure sound takeoff of the initiative and promise to render workable assistance , called on the civil servants and retirees to key into the programme.
Meanwhile, the President and Chief Executive of OPPDAN Mr. Joseph Idoko called on governments at all levels to support the Oil Palm Plantation Development Advocacy Network to realise its objective of diversifying the economy from Crude Oil to Oil Palm value chain.
While delivering a keynote lecture, titled ” The Risk of Agribusiness Financing” assured those listed on the platform that all necessary engagements with relevant agencies have been completed as fund would soon be disbursed to the beneficiaries.
He said to mitigate against risk of non repayment of the loan by the beneficiaries, the organisation has worked out a comprehensive Agribusiness financial risk mitigating model ( CAFRIMM) to hedge the participating Financial Institutions (,PFI) on a long term gestation of Oil Palm plantation.
He explained that the scheme will give confidence to the participating Financial Institutions that beneficiaries will not default in repayment and if at all circumstances beyond the control of a beneficiary occured , the inbuilt mechanism of caprimm would sufficiently takes care of the unforseen..
According to him, the caprimm model enables the participating Financial Institutions to retain 15% of the loan at a 0.39 interest rate which will accrue through out the repayment periods.
He assured enrollees that the fund would soon be disbursed as talks with commercial banks who are the underwriters of the fund has reached advance stage .
He said , in line with the next level agenda in agriculture of the governor Yahaya Bello New Direction Agenda to partner with key stakeholders to achieve food sufficiency , noted that the small holder oil palm indirect cluster farmers facilitators through Opesidi model is poised to establish oil palm plantations across the twelve oil palm cultivatable belts of Nigeria.
While enumerating the enormous wealth generation embedded in the oil palm value chain, said his OPDAN has acquired a 10 hectares of Oil palm estate at Ugbugbu Ejugwu – Amaka in Igala Mela -Odolu LGA of the state.
He added that the oil palm partnership investment Development initiative and Agribusiness Alternative Retirement Investment Scheme which were designed to accommodate civi servants and those in the organised private sector are aimed at adding financial values to their lives while in active service.
He added that Nigeria with an annual shortfall of over 3,360.000 metric tons of palm oil demand, needs every hand on deck to close the gap , thereby reducing poverty in the land.
In a remark, the permanent secretary in the ministry of Agriculture Mrs. Anne Odion pledge her ministry’ s support for the initiative and called on the civil servants in the state to key into the programme for their economic well-being.
She added that with the advantages inherent in the oil palm cultivation, the nation could reduce its over dependence on crude oil by paying attention to the oil palm.plantation initiatives.