NIGERIA – Presco Plc, a palm-oil processing firm listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, has signed a partnership deal with the Edo State Government to develop high yielding oil palm seeds in the state as part of the Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP).
The ESOPP is an initiative of the state government to revive the palm oil sector for global competitiveness.
The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki revealed that, “Presco has a laboratory in Europe and they are thinking of expanding the laboratory here to Nigeria so that they can reproduce high-quality planting materials.”
According to Obaseki, the development of the high-yielding seeds was necessary to make the business more profitable for farmers as oil palm had a long gestation period.
He said, “We want to collaborate in the area of research to have one of the world’s best planting materials. This is so that we can go back to where we used to be in terms of oil palm production in the world.
He added that discussions were ongoing with Presco on supporting the state in the implementation of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s oil palm initiative and for the company to expand to other locations in the state.
The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, at the launch of the ESOPP, committed N69bn (US$190m) as part of efforts to revive the country’s oil palm industry.
Mr. Vandebeeck, Chairman of Presco Plc explained that the deal would enable his company to develop smallholder oil palm farms using technology of multiplying seeds, called in-vitro culture.
He revealed that the company plans to create a special unit in Nigeria for the propagation and distribution of high yielding planting materials.
He said that Edo was regarded as a first-choice location because of its ease of doing business as well as friendly government policies and hospitality in the state.