A 10-tonne per-day palm oil processing plant has been built in Calabar, the Cross River state capital.
The initiative is a joint venture between the Clan Head of Kasuk II Qua Clan in Calabar, HRM Ntoe (Dr) Ededem Ayito III, and the National Board for Technology Incubation.
The factory is expected to produce 3,000 bottles of one-litre palm oil in 72 hours and employ people in the area, in addition to improving the state’s economy.
Dr Ededem Ayito III, however, stated that the facility still needs to be of maximum capacity.
He used the opportunity to call for funding from potential investors that can boost production upwards.
“We have a lot of Oil Palm in Cross River State, but there is no value addition.
“We intend to acquire more avenues for raw materials, and we are calling financial institutions to come to our aid.”
The Cross River government had earlier stated that the palm oil business had supported the state’s internally generated revenue.
According to the Calabar Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture, as of 2018, over 18,000 farmers in the state produced over 200,000 metric tonnes of palm oil.
They also had over 360,000 hectares of oil palm plantations, according to the organisation.
Nigeria’s annual palm oil demand currently stands at 2.5 million metric tonnes, whereas local production stands at 1.25 million tonnes, leaving a gap of 1.25 tonnes.
Nigeria is also the fifth largest palm oil producer globally, with an annual production of 970,000 tonnes, while Cross River is the second largest producer in the country, after Edo state.