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Anambra Government To Establish Oil Palm, Coconut Processing Centres



Praise Chinecherem

Anambra State Government has disclosed plans to establish processing centres across the state for oil palm and coconut fruits.

Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Foster Ihejiofor who disclosed this while taking delivery of some consignment of oil palm seedlings at the Ministry’s premises, said government intends to maximize economic gains derivable from the produce and deepen oil palm plantation revolution.

He said, “We intend in near future to deliberately instigate the establishment of processing centres across the state where first fruit bunches from oil palm and coconut fruits will be off taken and processed into various products for local use and export.

“As soon as the seedlings planted this year start fruiting within the next 36 months,  production sites for the catchment areas would be unveiled.”

Ihejiofor further revealed that a total of 220,000 oil palm seedlings and 150,000 coconut seedlings would be distributed across the state this year.

“This is because it took awhile for the government to get budget approval and then commence the process of procurement and distribution to make sure that the ones supplied are planted to survive having a bit of the rainfall to benefit from.

“We had to cut down on volume for this year,but next year the deficit will be taken care of.The Governor promised a million of palm seedlings to be planted across the state,next year we are going to do the short fall for this year and then that of next year,” Ihejiofor added.

The commissioner appealed to the people of the state to key into the initiative for their economic sustainability and source of revenue for government, just as he urged wealthy individuals to partner government to drive the project by investing in it.

Commenting on the distribution exercise, Director, Agro Inputs/Growth Enhancement Support, Ministry of Agriculture, Lady Rosaria Ohaeri underscored the importance of oil palm revolution which started during the regime of Late Michael Okpara.

She said the present administration under the watch of Prof  Soludo had come to change the narrative from crude oil dependent economy to palm produce geared towards making the state a liveable prosperous mega city.

While enjoining stakeholders to key into the policy, she urged Local Government Chairmen, President Generals as well as Village Chairmen to ensure even distribution of the seedlings.

“Government planned the way of distribution, we schedule and we work with the schedule. We work with stakeholders to make sure it gets to every community. We have mobilised the schools, churches to have the seedlings planted in their compound”

In a remark, Vice President General, Ndikelionwu Welfare Association (NWA), Hon Ifesinachi Onwurah described the government’s policy as laudable and called for its sustainance for economic development of the state.

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