November 27, 2022

Britain backs Nigeria’s fight against deforestation, agricultural growth – The Punch

  • December 5, 2021
  • 3 min read
Britain backs Nigeria’s fight against deforestation, agricultural growth – The Punch

Punch Newspapers © 1971-2020 The Punch newspaper
British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, has disclosed that the British government is giving the government of Nigeria the necessary support to fight against deforestation and other activities inimical to the environment with a view to ensuring a sustainable agricultural sector in the country.
Liang, who made this disclosure during a familiarisation visit to Okomu Oil Palm Company Plc in Ovia South-West Local Government Area of Edo State, said the British government is also supporting the government of Nigeria in sustainable land principles so as to make agriculture viable.
“Deforestation is what concerns the British government and everything is being done to tackle it. We are concerned in preserving the forest to make sure that agriculture is generally viable in Nigeria. Every hectare has to count as far we are concerned,” she said.
While noting that the British government had, for the past five years, been providing fundings to improve the forest and agriculture, Laing noted that the British government is now looking at supporting small holders in the agric sector.

Corroborating the High Commissioner on the need to boost small businesses in the agric sector, the Managing Director, Okomu Oil Palm Company Plc, Graham Hefer, noted that the company is already supporting smallholders by giving them the necessary support, adding that from August to now, no fewer than 200 tons First Fruit Barn were received from smallholders.
Hefer said, “As a company, we’re already fulfilling our end of that bargain because we’ve already started bringing smallholders together as an association. From August to now, we’ve already received more than 200 tons of FAB from smallholders that are working together with us on our programme.

“So, in order for this smallholders to grow, we need to work with them. Of course we are not a bank, we do not finance projects, so banks and government need to come on board to make sure these businesses grow.

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“The government must allocate land to the smallhorders and opportunities to get loans from bank. We can then access the crops, as well as assist with training.”
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