Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has revealed that his administration would massively invest in the Oil Palm sector in its quest to diversify the state economy beyond crude oil.
The governor announced this yesterday at the Edo State Government House in Benin when a 14-member committee set up to develop an oil palm plan for the state presented its report to him. He said: “Oil Palm is our new crude oil; it will be the key driver of our development. The state still has one of the largest estates of oil palm, which have the highest yield in the country. We want to leverage on our high-yielding varieties and long tradition of oil palm production to acquire about 100, 000 hectares of land for the development of oil palm estates. The production will be of global standards and yield”.
Continuing, the governor commended the committee members for their efforts towards gathering the report assuring them that the government would acquire the necessary resources to execute the project ‘’We will, within the next two weeks, create a smaller team to come up with a work plan on how to execute the feasibility plan, work out the image capturing of the land to be used, and get the involvement of the host community for the project.
Meanwhile, the committee Chairman, Toni Ogunbor, explaining the report, revealed that the committee recommended four key issues in the report that need to be addressed to bring the project to fruition.
These were land development, provision of security, infrastructure and the need to have data on soil and weather conditions.