The Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) has signed a 20 year agreement with Luscei Investment Limited, an Edo State based private palm producing company to boost palm oil production in Nigeria.
By the agreement, the planting materials for the 40 hectares field would be supplied free of charge by NIFOR, while the company would manage the planting, maintenance and harvesting of the field under the supervision of NIFOR technical personnel.
Speaking at the signing of the MoU at NIFOR headquarters, the Executive Director of the Institute, Dr. Celestine Ikuenobe, highlighted the decline in the standard of operation at NIFOR due to human activities.
He however, but disclosed that partnerships with organisations such as Luscei Investment Limited, is necessary to recover best practices of NIFOR’s core mission.
Represented by the Director, Research, Technology and Product Development Department, Dr Isona Gold Ikuenobe, reinforces that NIFOR remains the number one palm research institute in Africa.
He said, “In the past, it was a taboo to be seen around plant breeding and agronomy fields but overtime the scientific culture of the institute has eroded, resulting in the disregard for science.“
“This is where our competitors have an advantage, as they are able to control such occurrences in their locations. In addressing this challenge, the Institute is seeking collaboration with private organisations and adopting stricter measures to curb sabotage within its system, hence our partnership with Luscei,” Ikuenobe added.
On his part, the Director of Luscei Investment Limited, Oluseyi Adeleke, said the agreement would last for 20 years adding that the collaboration with NIFOR has improved the productivity in the farm.
He said “With our collaboration, we had better insight on our land acquisition, as we received expert guidance from NIFOR during the process. Whilst there are challenges, we have been able to overcome them due to the resilience in the quality of materials we receive and how they can survive harsh weather conditions. As a result of this, major oil producers came to check our produce and today they off-take from our farms. “