Connect with us


Netherlands Funded Programme Unveils Phase 2 of Climate-Smart Palm Oil Initiative



Solidaridad and IDH, a Netherlands funded programme, has unveiled phase two of the National Initiative for Sustainable and Climate Smart Oil Palm Smallholders (NISCOPS). NISCOPS, which aims to improve the production of oil palm while fostering a climate friendly activity, targets 12,000 oil palm farmers in its phase 2.

Wouter Plomp, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Nigeria, spoke with journalists at the unveiling of the project on Tuesday in Abuja. He said that unveiling of the second phase was his country’s commitment to sustaining a more environment-friendly.

Plomp said it would also create a social future of the palm oil production in Nigeria. “You know very well that palm oil is vital for Nigeria’s economy; so is the future of Nigeria’s precious forests and so is equitability in the division of the gains of the palm oil sector.

“So, what we aim to achieve by this project is to have a more sustainable future and a more equitable future for the palm oil production in Nigeria,’’ he said.

The Head of Programmes, Solidaridad in West Africa, Nathaniel Boateng, who represented the Regional Director of Solidaridad, Isaac Gyamfi, said the main focus of the unveiling was to ensure the improvement oil palm within the region.

According to him, it will help the region to feed itself and meet the demand of oil palm; so that the farmers are able to cultivate in a way that does not harm the environment.

“There is the notion that oil palm contributes a lot to deforestation; so, we seek to encourage farmers to invest more within the landscape that they are in to diversify and also enrich their production.

“So, that they get more from what they have instead of expanding into other landscapes or into the forest areas.’’

Boateng explained that the first phase was a test case to prove that indeed if farmers were to intensify, if they were to do best management practices, they could produce more.

“It was a test case with a few farmers; in phase two, we are going to expand to other farmers; we are going to scale and consolidate the results that we have.

“But most importantly is to look for opportunities to also unlock climate finance for the farmers; so, that is a new area that we want to venture in on the NISCOPS phase two.

“So, farmers are able to intensify; do best management practices to reduce emissions and mitigate carbon emissions so that they can unlock climate finance,’’ he said.

The Chairman Executive Board of IDH, Daan Wensing, said IDH was working around the globe to bring the power of the private sector to a sustainable development goal in terms of innovation power and the investment it could make.

He said IDH was in partnership with Solidaridad, the government, public private partnership, farmers and civil societies.

The Programme Manager, Solidaridad, Kene Onukwube, said the second phase of NISCOPS consolidated the achievement of the first phase.

“We have been able to up the yield for oil palm up to 115 tons per hectare and that is a huge gap between where it was before.

“So, we think that best management practices that are contributing to that should be replicated across more locations,” he said.

He further explained that the second phase entailed building the bridge for local and international markets.

Onukwube said from the first phase of NISCOPS, it was realised that very little was understood about issues around the sustainability standards that were the hallmark for the international market.

“So, we want to be able to use this second phase to broaden that perspective; help farmers and communities to begin to take responsibility for the sustainability of their forests, for the forest landscapes vis-a-vis the oil palm landscape.

“The farmers we are going to work with now, we are looking at 12,000 and more,’’ he said.(NAN)

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *