Presco Plc, a palm-oil processing firm listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, has signed a partnership deal with the Edo State Government to develop high yielding oil palm seeds in the state. The project is part of the Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP).
Vandebeeck explained that the deal would enable his company to develop smallholder oil palm farms using technology. This, he said was why Presco was contracted as the company has a technology of multiplying seeds, called in-vitro culture.
Presco boss disclosed that the company plans to create a special company in Nigeria for the propagation and distribution of high yielding planting materials. He said that Edo was regarded as a first choice location because of its ease of doing business as well as friendly government policies and hospitality in the state.
Speaking on the partnership, Executive Governor, Edo State, Godwin Obaseki stated that the development of the high-yielding seeds was necessary to make the business more profitable for farmers as oil palm had a long gestation period.
“We want to collaborate in the area of research to have one of the world’s best planting materials. This is so that we can go back to where we used to be in terms of oil palm production in the world. Presco has a laboratory in Europe and they are thinking of expanding the laboratory here to Nigeria so that they can reproduce high-quality planting materials,” he said.
The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, at the launch of the ESOPP, explained that the apex bank has committed N69 billion as part of efforts to revive the country’s oil palm industry. Obaseki stated that the partnership with Presco was in support of the CBN’s oil palm initiative amongst other reasons.