The Central Bank of Nigeria on Monday unveiled fresh plans to revive the palm oil value chain to enable the sector to generate foreign exchange and reduce the level of unemployment in the country.
The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, unveiled the strategies while speaking during a meeting with stakeholders in the Palm Oil Value Chain.
The meeting, which was held at the headquarters of the CBN, was attended by Governors of Akwa Ibom, Edo and Abia states and chief executives of companies operating in that sector of the economy.
Emefiele said as part of the apex bank’s Anchor Borrowers Programme and its Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme, the CBN would work with large corporate stakeholders and smallholder farmers to ensure availability of quality seeds for this year’s planting season and agro-chemicals in order to enable improved cultivation of palm oil.
In addition, he said the bank would also work to encourage viable off-taker agreements between farmers and large-scale palm producing companies.
He noted that loans would be granted through the ABP and CACS programmes at no more than nine per cent per annum to identified core borrowers.
With an estimated three million hectares of land under cultivation and abundance of suitable arable land, the CBN governor said the bank would need the cooperation of state governments in the oil palm producing zone.
He said their cooperation would make land available to investors with proven financial and technical capabilities, who will be able to support developments of large scale palm oil plantations in the country.
He announced that all the states in the South-South and South-East regions had agreed to provide at least 100,000 hectares for the initiative.