West Africa contributes about 5% to the world’s palm oil production. Nigeria’s own palm oil production stands at about 907,000 metric tonnes. The country despite having huge land resources suitable for palm oil production is unable to meet its own demand. It imports over 600 metric tonnes of palm oil.
However, Nigeria has huge potential to be a global leader in crude oil palm (CPO) production, as it is capable of producing over 600 million tonnes annually. Such production levels can be realised with the use of best agriculture management practices and employment of suitable agri technologies.
Global demand for palm oil is growing, and buyers are looking at Africa to meet such demand. Nigeria can take advantage of its total hectares of land under cultivation, human capital to become a global CPO producer.
The Regional Manager of Solidaridad, West Africa, Isaac Gyamfi recently said “if Nigeria can intensify production on its existing 2.1m hectare under cultivation, it can produce 6 million metric tonnes of CPO and reduce the land currently under cultivation and release them for other agricultural activities.”
Some of the problems facing Nigeria’s oil palm sector is that 80% of its the oil production in Nigeria comes from the small holder farmers – which needs to be integrated. Another obstacle is technology used in processing of palm oil is inefficient – about 50% of palm oil is lost during processing.
Soilidaridad through SWAPP has helped to prevent such losses. It has deployed equipment called cold pressing that could bring their oil extraction rate from around 9% to 17%.
Instead of bringing more land under palm oil cultivation, Nigeria can also increase the national average yield per hectare, per year from about 4 to 5 tonnes to about 20 tonnes.
More about Africa’s palm oil production will be discussed at 5th Africa Sustainable Oil Palm Summit
on 25-26 April, 2018
in Accra, Ghana.
Contact Ms. Huiyan at firstname.lastname@example.org
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