NIGERIA – Norsworthy Farms and Agro Allied Industries Limited have inaugurated a state-of-the-art 10-metric-tonne per hour palm oil mill in Akwukwu, Igbo, Delta State, Nigeria.

The inauguration event was attended by dignitaries including the State Governor, Sherriff Oborevwori, and former Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.

The mill which is part of an effort to revitalize Nigeria’s palm oil industry aims to reduce the country’s reliance on imports.

Dr. Gabriel Ogbechie, Chairman of Norsworthy Farms and Agro Allied Industries Limited, expressed concern about Nigeria’s shift from being a net exporter to a net importer of palm oil.

He highlighted the country’s annual consumption of approximately 2.5 million metric tonnes and an import expenditure of US$500 million per annum, resulting in a significant deficit.

Ogbechie emphasized that despite ample suitable plantation land, only a fraction is utilized, primarily through manual processing techniques by small-scale farmers.

The inauguration of the 10-metric-tonne per hour palm oil mill is a milestone in Nigeria’s palm oil industry, aiming to address the deficit and boost local production.

Ogbechie outlined Norsworthy Farms’ vision, originating from a market survey in 2017, to enhance palm oil production in Nigeria.

Recognizing Nigeria’s crucial role as a prominent palm oil producer, Ogbechie highlighted the global palm oil market’s strong valuation, reaching US$67.3 billion in 2022 and projected to exceed $70 billion in 2023.

He unveiled Norsworthy Farms’ multi-phase expansion plan, including extensive oil palm plantations, a ten-thousand-hectare estate, a vegetable oil refinery, and the newly inaugurated processing mill.

To secure land for the project, Norsworthy Farms collaborated with the Delta State government, acquiring 1,400 hectares from the Iyiocha Forest Reserve.

Delta State holds a 10 per cent equity stake in the venture, and the state government plans to distribute its equity holdings to local communities where the project is located.

 “Through this initiative, Norsworthy Farms will provide seedlings and technical support to local farmers, enabling them to actively participate in and benefit from the success of the project,” Ogbechie highlighted.

Former Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, and Governor Sherriff Oborevwori praised the initiative, emphasizing its potential to alleviate poverty and hunger in Delta State and Nigeria as a whole.

They acknowledged the socio-economic benefits of the project, including job creation and enhanced access to affordable palm oil.

Governor Oborevwori pledged continued government support for such initiatives, encouraging further investments in Delta State.

The entry into service of the palm oil production factory is a significant step in realizing the project initiated in 2017, contributing to the economic development of Delta State and the overall growth of Nigeria’s palm oil industry.”


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