2 September 2012

Nigeria: FG Targets U.S.$8 Billion From Palm Oil Export - Minister

The Federal Government has said that it was targeting eight billion dollars revenue from palm oil export under the Agriculture Transformation Agenda (ATA).

Dr Akinwumi Adesina, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, announced the plan in Abuja at the signing of the agreement for Estate Participation in the Oil Palm Nursery and Field planting activity.

The minister explained that the country would have achieved the target if it had made use of its oil palm industry in 1961. "Nigeria used to be the largest exporter of palm oil in the 1960s until Malaysia came here and got its improved palm nuts from Nigeria.

"Now Malaysia makes $18 billion from oil palm export. We want to get back to when palm oil used to be the mainstay of our economy," Adesina said.

He said the situation changed following the anomaly caused by the discovery of crude oil in commercial quantity in the 1970s.

The minister said Nigeria produced only 1.3 million tonnes of vegetable oil and imported more than 350,000 tonnes of vegetable oil annually.

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