BY ONOME AMUGE
Saro Oil Palm Limited, an integrated agricultural company and big player in the Nigerian palm oil industry, has commenced pre-planting activities in preparation for the development of a 10,000-hectare oil palm plantation in Edo State.
Tunde Faturonti, managing director of the company, made the disclosure during a facility tour and meeting with leaders of Evboesi Community, Orhionmwon Local Government Area of the state, the project’s host community.
Faturonti said the company is setting up a 30-hectare nursery, adding that efforts are underway to plant 400,000 seeds this year.
“The plan is that when you have the pre-germinated nuts, we plant it and nurse it for three months. So, when it’s three months, we will now transfer to the nursery in a bigger bag,” he explained.
Churchill Oboh, team lead of the Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP), said Saro Oil Palm Limited has recorded impressive progress with the project’s implementation in Evboesi community.
Oboh called on other communities to urgently key into the industrialization drive of the state government so as not to be left behind.
“When we started our engagements with communities to cooperate with the investors, some community leaders refused to cooperate with the investors. But Evboesi is a success story because the leaders saw well ahead of time that Governor Obaseki means well for Edo people. I urge such leaders to cooperate with the government and investors to transform all the communities in the state,” he said.
Billy Akongie, the Ohenosa of Evboesi, in his remarks expressed pleasure over the accomplishments of the company in the community, which he described as a welcome development unlike situations in the past where previous governments brought investors and the investors did not deliver the projects.
Akongie commended the company’s immense contribution to the development of the community by ensuring that youths in the community are gainfully employed in addition to the provision of a 500 KVA transformer for enhanced electricity supply.
“They have delivered all the things we requested from them and Saro and our people are partners on this project that will cater for our children and grandchildren. With this project, Obaseki’s name will never be forgotten by our people,” he said.