By Eromosele Abiodun
Following its acquisition of 17,954 hectares of land from the Edo State government for palm oil cultivation, Dufil Prima Foods Plc, makers of Indomie Noodles, has embarked on a crop compensation payment for 1,628 farmers across 14 communities in Ovia North East local government area of Edo state.
The payment exercise, which is being overseen by the Ministry of Agriculture in the state, commenced on Monday 8th April and was expected to continue for three weeks.
The move, which crystalises Dufil’s backward integration drive, particularly with respect to oil palm cultivation, was also in line with the federal government’s drive for increased activities and revenue from agriculture.
The Chief Operating Officer, Dufil Prima Foods Plc, Mr. Madhukar Khetan, explained that the project marked another significant milestone in Dufil’s commitment to attaining a further backward integrated and self-sustaining system that supports the Nigerian economy by creating employment opportunities, reducing importation and doing so in a sustainable manner.
He added that crop compensation exercise marked another achievement in the oil palm plantation project which would include installation of an integrated palm oil mill.
“This laudable project being undertaken by Dufil will see massive investment being introduced into the region. The project will not only help create job opportunities for indigenes of Edo state but also serves to cut the importation of oil palm; a development which is in sync with the Federal government’s efforts to reduce importation. In addition to this crop compensation to farmers, Dufil’s commitment to the project is worth billions of Naira,” Khetan said.
He added that the next step after the compensation exercise was Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as well as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) mandatory assessments and development of nursery.
He also commended Edo state’s commitment to ensuring a sustainable venture.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele recently urged states to take advantage of opportunities in the palm oil value chain.
He noted that loans would be granted through the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) and Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS) at no more than nine per cent per annum to identified core investors.