The National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria ,Abia State chapter has flagged off 2021 planting season and distribution of seedlings with pleas to the Central Bank of Nigeria and other financial institutions to accept oil Palm plantations as collateral for loans extended to farmers , for CBN to modify the Anchor Borrower’s programme guidelines to accommodate oil Palm and to provide a special fund for the development of oil Palm sector.
This was made known by the Abia State chairman of NPPAN ,Dr Onubogu Obiageri Linda , during her opening speech and while interacting with Newsmen shortly after the Flag off ceremony ,held at Ibeku High school , Umuahia, Abia State.
According to her, ” I strongly believe that if the above pleas are implemented ,the long lost glory of oil Palm industry would be restored .
” This is so because ,it is a fact that a barrel of Palm oil is worth more than a barrel of crude oil.
” Again , Palm oil production remains a major vocation in many communities,it involves hundreds of thousands of poor producers and tens of thousands of poor processors.
” It provides income for many farmers and their dependents .
” This connotes that an efficient and strong Palm oil sector in Abia State , Nigeria,will enable the poor to be part of the solution to poverty challenge through provision of employment and a means of livelihood” she said.
Speaking further, she pointed out that since her assumption of office as the State chairman with her team , they have greatly pursued a programme of getting every member in all the 17 Local government Areas of the State that has interest in growing oil Palm to plant at least 10 oil Palm trees , adding that the training and knowledge the members acquired can attest to that , even as noted that the training held at Umuobiakwa ,Obingwa L.G.A exposed their members to various improved technologies in oil Palm production.
In his speech,the representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Celcus Agla , disclosed that because of the peculiarity of Palm produce and its benefits , that CBN is streamlining the modalities,so that small scale oil Palm growers can benefit from loans , adding that government is doing special project for oil Palm growers in the South South and South East regions ,with time the modalities will be fine tuned so that Palm produce farmers can benefit, even as he urged them to organize themselves in a manner that when they ask for their names as small scale farmers ,it will be ready
In his speech,His Royal Highness,Eze Nnanta Ajuzie of Mbasa auctomous community in Ugwunagbo LGA ,urged government to synergize with financial institutions to assist Palm growers and producers in the South East to access loan facilities.
Earlier in his speech ,the chairman of the occasion and General Manager ASPIMSS Abia State ,Hon.Ezinwa Abiri , encouraged the leadership of NPPAN to facilitate every workable policies to ensure members access loan to support Palm growing and produce.