To revive the palm oil production industry, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has introduced a single-digit interest rate on loans to palm oil farmers.
This is to ensure that the industry becomes a major foreign exchange earner.
The loan will not exceed nine percent annually. the commodity has been added to the apex bank’s (ABP) and (CASC). Anchor Borrowers Programme and Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme respectively.
The decision follows the CBN’s introduction of similar initiatives to revive the textile and cotton industries. Through a five percent yearly interest rate for cotton growers and other value chain operators.
Nigeria used to be a world-leading producer and largest exporter of palm oil in the late 1950s and 1960s, commanding a 40 percent market share in that period.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, lamenting the decline in palm oil production, says:
“Today we are a distant fifth among leading producers of palm oil. We barely produce up to three percent of the global output with an estimated production of 800,000 MT. Countries like Malaysia and Indonesia produce 25 million and 41 million tonnes.”