Global organisation commits $300,000 to oil palm production in Edo

Oil palm plantation

The global Roundtable on Sustainable Oil Palm (RSPO), plans to commit up to $300,000 toward the implementation of its oil palm community engagement and outreach programme in Edo State.

Its Chief Executive Officer, Joseph D’Cruz, made the declaration yesterday at the launch of the RSPO Community Outreach and Engagement Programme in Benin, which will be implemented in 20 months.

D’Cruz was represented at the launch by the Global Director of Market Transformation at the RSPO, Inke van der Sluijs.

The RSPO is a membership-based organisation that unites all stakeholders in the palm oil sector from growers to marketers, and has more than 5,400 members in more than 100 countries.

D’Cruz said RSPO has developed standards for growers, independent smallholder (ISH), and the supply chain, adding that of the global supply of palm oil, 19% was RSPO-certified.

The programme aims to build capacity for all stakeholders and deepen their understanding of sustainable palm oil production.

“We have high expectations about this programme for which we have allocated $300,000.

“In other countries, we have invested in smallholder programmes through our Smallholder Support Fund (RSSF).

“These programmes typically improve yields and lower costs of production and therefore generate more income for farmers.

“The funds help in building capacity and knowledge on best management practices.

“Out of the six programmes in Africa, one led to the certification of 5,000 ISHs in Sierra Leone,” he said.

He explained that the aim of the programme is to build capacity for all stakeholders and deepen their understanding of sustainable palm oil production.

“Secondly, we aim to enhance compliance to the RSPO standards and procedures, and thirdly, we need to mitigate conflicts and improve the relationship with our members,” he said.

According to him, Nigeria produces approximately one third of the palm oil volume in Africa and 10% of that is RSPO-certified. Most of the volumes certified in Nigeria come from Edo and amounted to 81%.

In his remarks, Governor Godwin Obaseki said the state is changing the narrative in production through the Edo State Oil Palm programme.

Obaseki, represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Stephen Idenhere, assured of the government’s support to ensure the success of the programme and to enhance oil palm production. (NAN)

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