THE CHALLENGES FACING PALM OIL INDUSTRY IN NIGERIA
The oil palm plantation can be found throughout West Africa and palm oil has contributed significantly towards the Nigerian exports. However, the palm oil industry in Nigeria was declining to 36.4% in 1969 and 13.2% in 1974 in spite of being the largest global exporting country at the beginning of 20th Century. Since then, domestic consumption has increased, slow growth in palm oil production and low output was delivered. The equipment of production is considered obsolete, the plantations are aging, the technology access is very little, and financing is insufficient. This indicated a threat and inefficiency of Nigerian palm oil industries to cater for the needs of people regardless of the increase in oil demand locally as the palm kernel oil is becoming important food and raw materials. Due to this problem, Nigeria remained to receive palm oil from Malaysia even though the seedlings was originated from Nigeria. Other large importers include from Benin, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Togo. This issue has caused Palm oil production in Nigeria to be more expensive and not competitive if compared to other countries like Malaysia and Indonesia. Hence, the objective of this paper explores the challenges facing palm oil industry in Nigeria using qualitative data through document and thematic analysis. The semi-structured interview was analysed by utilizing Atlas ti 8 software. The findings of the paper shows that there are challenges facing palm oil industry in Nigeria such as lack of good planting materials, poor funding, improper milling and lack of technology. From this, it is confirmed that there are numerous challenges facing palm oil industry in Nigeria which requires aids from the government from allocation of huge amount of its budget to agriculture and establish better policies for the palm oil industry that will attract more public and private investment.
Keywords: Oil Palm, Palm Oil, Palm Oil industry in Nigeria, Challenges
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