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Solidaridad Distributes 36,000 Palm Seedlings To Enugu Farmers, Others

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Determined towards improving the oil palm farming in Nigeria, an international Solution-oriented civil society organisation, Solidaridad, has begun the distribution of 36,000 improved varieties of oil palm seedlings to farmers in Akwa Ibom, Cross Rivers, Enugu and Kogi states of the country

It said the four states benefits from the National Initiatives for Sustainable and Climate-Smart Oil Palm Smallholders (NISCOPS), an oil palm intervention programme of the organization funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Henkel.

The organization, flagged off the seedling distribution in Enugu, after that of Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Kogi states.

According to the establishment, the seedlings, which are distributed at no cost to farmers, are to encourage farmers into massive boost to agri-businesses, improve income of the smallholder farmers, and contribute to reforestation.

Speaking during the commencement of the distribution exercise yesterday in Enugu, South- East Nigeria, the Programme Manager, Oil Palm, Solidaridad Nigeria, Mr. Kenechukwu Onukwube, explained that the seedlings would drastically help reduce the poverty index of the state.

He stated that with the seedlings distributed, farmers in the state can turn around their fortunes if they adopt best management practices, taught by experts from the organisation.

According to Onukwube, “Solidaridad is set to distribute a total of 36,000 seedlings to farmers in four states – Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Enugu and Kogi.
“In other words, our projection is 12, 000 per state, and the aim of the seedlings’ distribution is to mark the roll-out of the seedling season for transplanting of oil palm from nursery to the field.

“So, through palm oil seedlings planting, Solidaridad would have succeeded in trimming the country’s landscape using oil palm.

“Therefore, the organisation would have also succeeded in contributing its quota towards the replacement of degraded forests.

“When we do this, places where forest have been degraded, this will help to capture some of those hectares and reduced degraded forest land.
“With more green places supported with oil palm seedlings in the field, there will be a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) and with time it would also produce with carbon sink for most of those with greenhouse gases.

“In addition, we hope to significantly enhance the income of oil palm farmers across the state. We are also promoting inclusive oil palm landscapes and women and youths are being brought on board” Onukwube stated.

He added that with the Best Management Practices (BMP)introduced by Solidaridad, yields in the state have moved from 2 tonnes to 10 tonnes per hectare.
He commended Solidaridad’s intervention in the sector, particularly with Best Management Practices introduced, saying this has brought major relief to oil palm farmers.

In his brief remark at the flag off ceremony, Enugu State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hon. Mathew Idu, had on behalf of the State government expressed appreciation to Solidaridad, for its interest and intervention in the state. He said the state government places high premium on Agriculture, urging the benefiting farmers to take the oil palm farming seriously as it would help in eradicating poverty in their families as well as put food on their tables.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=77419

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