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Agric Minister Task Stakeholders to Reposition Nigeria’s Oil Palm Sector

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Grace Egila

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar has tasked stakeholders in the Oil Palm Sub-sector with the need to reposition Nigeria to its rightful position of exporting to Another Nations.

The Information Officer II, Mohammed Abdullahi Gana in a statement on Thursday said the Minister stated this recently when he received the delegation of stakeholders of the proposed Nigeria oil palm summit led by its convener Mr. Fatai Afolabi in his office in Abuja.

According to the statement, Dr. Abubakar noted that “in the early 60s Nigeria’s agriculture sector was the major source of revenue, but today the country is struggling to be a big agricultural nation”, adding that it is not too late for Nigeria to repositioning itself.

He recalled that Malaysia came to Nigeria some years back, got oil palm seedlings, and became the number 1 producer of oil palm in the world, but today, Nigeria is ranked in the 5th position, which makes it worrisome, the Minister emphasized.

He said: “Rice, Cassava, and Yam are top priorities in the agricultural sector, urging the stakeholders to use the summit to think, plan and develop a policy that would put Nigeria back on track.”

The Minister cautioned that not just proposing to have a summit but a lot of thinking and planning must be carried out to avoid past mistakes.

He pledges to work with any organization to achieve the economic diversification policy of the present administration.

Abubakar commended the stakeholders for their efforts towards repositioning Nigeria’s oil palm, assuring that the ministry would collaborate and give necessary assistance to ensure the oil palm sub-sector strives.

In his remarks, the convener of the proposed Oil Palm Summit, Mr. Fatai Afolabi said that oil palm was one of the most important tree crops in the country.

He points out that the importance of oil palm in Nigeria cannot be over-emphasized, adding that, it was a means of livelihood, fuel, and raw materials for industries.

Mr. Afolabi revealed that the Summit would be a forum for stakeholders and relevant Organizations both Government and non-Governmental organizations to deliberate, synergize and come up with measures that would move the Oil Palm industry to its peak.

The Summit would also enable stakeholders to identify business models as well as opportunities for international partners.

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