Oil Palm Growers Association of Nigeria (OPGAN), has expressed concern over low quality of palm oil produced in the country, attributing it to lack of processing machines.
The National President, OPGAN, Igwe Uche, while speaking in Abuja, yesterday, said palm oil produced in Nigeria is not readily accepted in the international market due to its low quality.
Igwe said although they have met all necessary requirements needed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to access loan for this year’s planting season but were yet to get the fund, even as some oil palm farmers and millers had already procured processing machines while awaiting the CBN fund from to kick-start production.
Uche said: “Our rural farmers produce oil in a very large quantity without a marketing quality.”
He said the challenge farmers faced was the collateral being demanded by the CBN, noting that any land a farmer plants the oil palm is automatically the farmer’s land, and could be used as collateral, which the CBN agreed.
Speaking on the planting season, he said the CBN’s support may not be useful if it comes at the time when farmers can no longer plant because of limited rainfall.
“If there is any way they can fast track the release of fund, they should do so, because this is the time to clear the bush for people can plant seedlings.
The OPGAN President therefore urged the apex bank to commence disbursement of the credit facility in February, to enable farmers utilize the fund during this year’s rainy season.