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Nigeria’s Agriculture Minister Meets With Palm Oil Stakeholders On Repositioning Sector For Export Production

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, has met with stakeholders under the aegis of the proposed Nigeria Oil Palm Summit, charging them to work towards repositioning the country to its rightful position of exporting to another nations.
 
The Minister told the delegation of  stakeholders led by its Convener, Mr. Fatai Afolabi, in his office in Abuja that "in the early 60s, Nigeria’s agriculture sector was the major source of revenue, but today the country is struggling to be a big agricultural nation," adding that it is not too late for Nigeria to reposition itself.
 
He recalled that "Malaysia came to Nigeria some years back, got oil palm seedlings and became number 1 producers of oil palm in the world. And today, Nigeria is ranked the 5th position, which makes it worrisome."
 
Abubakar stated that "Rice, Cassava and Yam are top priorities in the agricultural sector," urging the stakeholders "to use the summit to think, plan ahead and develop a policy that would put Nigeria back on track."
 
The Minister cautioned that "not just proposing to have a summit but a lot of thinking and planning must be carried out to avoid past mistakes,” pledging to work with any organization to achieve the economic diversification policy of the present administration.
 
He commended the stakeholders for their efforts towards repositioning Nigeria oil palm, assuring that the ministry would collaborate and give necessary assistance to ensure oil palm sub  sector strives. 
 
In his remarks, the convener of the proposed Oil Palm Summit, Mr. Fatai Afolabi said that oil palm was one of the most important tree crops in the country, pointing out that the importance of oil palm in Nigeria cannot be over emphasized, adding that it was a means of livelihood, fuel and raw materials for industries.  
 
He revealed that the Summit would be a forum for stakeholders and relevant Organizations both Government and non-Governmental organizations to deliberate, synergize and come up with measures that would move the Oil Palm industry to its peak, adding that the Summit would also enable stakeholders to identify business models as well as opportunities for International partners.
 
In a related development, the Minister received the delegation of Friesland Campina Wamco led by the Executive Director, Corporate Affairs, Mrs. Ore Famurewa.

The Executive Director stated that the company would continue to partner with the Ministry to improve quality of locally produced milk, capacity training for smallholder dairy farmers in the modern technologies on how to boost production and increase their earnings.

She, therefore, solicited the Minister’s assistance towards securing about 200 - 300 hectares of land in Abuja for the organization’s future projects. 
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