After the successful launch of the National Initiatives for Sustainable and Climate-smart Oil Palm Smallholders (NISCOPS) in West Africa, Solidaridad is set to commence full implementation of the palm oil intervention programme.
Solidaridad’s Senior Climate Specialist (Africa), Dr. Samson Ogallah, who disclosed this to The Guardian, noted that the programme was funded by the government of The Netherlands.
At a two-day national stakeholders’ forum for NISCOPS in Abuja, participants developed indicators for the work plan that will guide the implementation stage of the programme between 2020 and 2023.
The federal ministries of agriculture, environment, as well as commerce and industry are among the stakeholders.
Others are Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) from Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Enugu and Akwa Ibom States, where NISCOPS is being implemented.
Civil society, research institutes and investors in the oil palm sector were also among the stakeholders that brainstormed to develop the work plan indicators for the implementation of NISCOPS.
In its implementation stage, NISCOPS will build capacity of farmers to implement best management practices, intensify and rehabilitate efforts and ensure sustainable climate-smart practices for increased productivity of palm oil.
The programme will also introduce innovation for improved downstream processing to increase palm oil extraction rate and quality, create competitive oil palm sector through policy and institutional dialogue and influencing, improve access to finance, inputs and market for oil palm smallholder farmers and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).
Ogallah said NISCOPS would enable government to support and work with farmers towards a more sustainable, climate-smart oil palm production, build capacity of smallholders and organisations to improve performance, support the development of mechanisms to operate in landscapes prone to deforestation and peat degradation, and contribute to the objectives of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) under the Paris Agreement (PA) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
To him, climate-smart agriculture will improve yield and income of smallholder farmers with less harm to the environment.
According to the Programme Manager, Oil Palm, Kenechukwu Onukwube, the global oil palm market, which is put at over $62 billion yearly, underscores the commodity’s economic significance and multiple utility.
The multiple utility and economic significance of palm oil, both in homes and industries, explains this growth in its global market size, he added, noting that palm oil production has the capacity to lift millions of rural poor out of poverty and contribute to attainment of SDGs.