Ghana, others strike palm oil deal

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Palm oil fruits. Twitter photo.

In a deal to rap-up the Climate conference in Morocco, Ghana and six other African countries have agreed to protect their tropical forests and shift focus to palm oil production.

Others are Liberia, Congo republic, Sierra Leone, Ivory coast, Central African Republic and the DRC.

The countries with a combined 250 million hectares of tropical forests for palm oil producers, signed a joint declaration at the Morocco conference on climate change on Wednesday.

The Morocco deal already had the support of some of world’s largest palm oil producers, buyers and traders, Channels TV reported.

Palm oil fuels a $50 billion global industry of food and food products and is projected to reach $88 billion by the year 2022.

Africa is said to be the world’s next growth spot for palm oil production, with Nigeria seeing earnings growth of local producers, as foreign exchange ban on oil palm products spur domestic capacity.

Official figures in Nigeria’s oil palm sector show an estimated supply gap of about 1.7 million metric tonnes yearly.

Although this is posing a precarious situation, but new initiatives had been taken to close the gap.

Already key players have begun to unveil their backward integration plans while some are undergoing expansion phases to make bride the demand-supply gap for the commodity in the country.

For instance, PZ Wilmar Limited, has staked about $80 million on its crude palm oil refinery in Nigeria.

According to the company, the plan, which is being implemented, would save the country some foreign exchange by eliminating yearly imports of $300 million spent on Palm oil importation, while bringing back the nation’s glory as a primary exporter of oil palm.

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, was among other world leaders at the conference which held from November 14 to 16, 2016.

President Buhari addressed the Climate conference and unveiled plans to issue green bonds to raise climate funds.

The country also planned to reduce emissions by 20 per cent by the year 2030, with the intention of raising the target to 45 per cent, with the support of the international community.

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