Palm produce has the potential to generate $35bn to $40bn annually if the industry is properly harnessed.
The Managing Director of BKG Exhibitions Ltd, Mr. Ifeanyichukwu Agwu, stated this in Lagos while addressing journalists concerning the July edition of palm produce exhibition in Enugu State.
Agwu, whose firm is collaborating with a Malaysian events promoter, WorldEx Trade Media Group, to host the exhibition, noted that oil palm produce could generate more income than crude oil, adding that every part of the palm was useful and had economic value.
He said, “There is no oil well allocation in this; it is safer; no high technology involved; it does not require high level of education. Local people can work on the palm plantation and the value chain with little or low level of education. There is more money in it than in crude oil.
“Nigeria is the fifth largest producer of palm oil in the world and the largest in Africa. Palm produce, especially oil and kernel, contributed highly to the Gross Domestic Product before the discovery of crude oil in Nigeria.
“With a well-developed palm oil industry, Nigeria can export the product and earn from $35m to $45m in foreign exchange, which will be a boost to the economic diversification policy. Palm plantation is expected to increase annually in Nigeria in the next five years to seven years to achieve the over 3,000,000 hectares of land, which experts say will lead to self-sufficiency in oil palm and allied products production to meet the demand.”