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Palm Oil: Enugu Stakeholders Assure Foreign Funder, Solidaridad Of Commitment In Ensuring Sustainable Plans

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Members of the Multi-Stakeholders Platform (MSP) on Oil Palm Development in Enugu State, have assured its foreign  founder, Solidaridad, of their commitment in ensuring that the Sustainable Management Plan (SMP) developed by her members to drive a Climate-Smart Oil Palm Value Chain in the Agricultural Sector turns a success story in the State.

Our Correspondent reports that Solidaridad, an international network Organization with headquarters in the Netherlands, operates  in over 40 countries of the world, including Nigeria, and in West Africa,  she is working to make transformative Technology accessible to Small farmers and Artisans.

They made the pledge during a one day Multi  Stakeholders meeting held at the State Ministry of Agriculture, and Natural Resources  Enugu.

In a presentation, a member of the state and national Committees of the (MSP), and  Executive Director, of a non governmental organization NGO,Rural Engagement and Development Foundation (REDFoundation) one of the implementing Organizations of the National initiatives for Sustainable and Climate- Smart Oil Palm Smallholders 

NISCOPS project in Enugu State, Mr. Kingsley Ugonna Ozor, said that the  Oil Palm Development Programme is under (NISCOPS).

According to him, the objective of the event was to discuss the State Sustainable Management Plan (SMP) as well as the 2023 work plan, adding that the event offered an opportunity to the MSP, members to discuss the historical pathway of the MSPs and how it developed the Land Use Plan Sketches, Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) signed by the Pilot LGAs in Enugu State, and the Sustainable Management Plan (SMP), respectively.

Ozor, disclosed  that the programme was one of the series of activities planned for the first phase of 2023 work plan Implementation in the state.

Solidaridad, had in a message via it’s programme Manager  Mr. Kene Onukwube, to the Stakeholders  noted  that the objective of the 1-day SMP sensitization meetings in each state wasn’t just a compilation of the reports of previous workshops held in 2022. 

The focus of the SMP, it said is to bring to the attention of all stakeholders in each state their responsibilities towards turning around the oil palm economy in their states.

It stated  that  the foreign Organization has built the capacity of the state stakeholders on deforestation-free palm oil, trained oil palm nursery developers, 

contributed towards the technology upgrade of artisanal mills.

It has equally  capacitated some LGs to start oil palm nurseries in the state based on signed MoUs, raised awareness on forest protection, and biodiversity conservation as well as campaigned for increased access of women and youths to land for oil palm production and to other inputs.

The organization  stressed that stakeholders at the  meeting must therefore discuss strategies towards consolidating these achievements (1-6) through adoption of the sustainable management plan (SMP) as a state roadmap towards improving oil palm economy.

“Therefore, you can breakout the participants into various  various groups to discuss these issues and how they can approach the state government to advocate for consolidation of these results (1-6) above

“Endeavour to get excellent workshop outputs/ results from this 1-day meeting demonstrating state and stakeholders’ commitments towards the above issues, adding that  the states should also make commitments towards supporting Niscops phase 2 in thier agricultural budgets so that the nurseries can be improved upon.

In his remark, immediate past Commissioner for Agriculture in the State, Hon. Mathew Idu, had expressed appreciation to Solidaridad for it’s support to the farmers, especially Small holder oil Palm in the state, saying the state government will not take such gesture for granted.

He charged the farmers and members of the MSP in the state to fully embrace the wonderful initiative by Solidaridad by keying into it, adding that they should also find a way of bringing in other Stakeholders at all levels to embrace the programme with a view to multiplying the seedlings provided to them by the Solidaridad. 

The  Head of Department (HOD), planing and Statistics in the State Ministry of Agriculture, who is also  

Solidaridad Coordinator in the Ministry, Mrs. Chidinma Madueke, had in her presentation, stressed the need for forest preservation and conservation in the state.

She gave an insight into the status of forests in the State and their  protection strategies, urging the  Stakeholders to always lend their voices in saying no to deforestation, which  she noted has done more harm than good to the Agricuitural sector.

Mrs. Madueke,  noted that deforestation has remained a cog in the wheel of progress of    oil Palm development in the state and elsewhere.

In their seperate speeches, Directors of Agriculture from the three pilot local government areas in the State, , Udenu, Nkanu West and Aninri  also took turn to present their plans to raise 1000 Oil Palm Nurseries that Solidaridad provided for smallholder farmers within their catchment areas.

The MSP Comprises Value Chain actors in the Oil Palm Landscape in Nigeria. They engage in innovative landscape solutions, and support the sustainable development of smallholder farmers and their productive systems with the intention to promote climate resilient and sustainable agriculture that will contribute towards climate change adaptation and mitigation of emissions.



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