|08ABUJA1261||2008-06-30 10:26:00||UNCLASSIFIED||Embassy Abuja|
VZCZCXRO6206 PP RUEHMA RUEHPA DE RUEHUJA #1261 1821026 ZNR UUUUU ZZH P 301026Z JUN 08 FM AMEMBASSY ABUJA TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3255 INFO RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS 9515 RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC
UNCLAS ABUJA 001261
1. In response to reftel questions, the palm oil plant is
indigenous to Nigeria, and palm oil is widely used domestically for
cooking. Local demand for palm oil is high, and local production
supplies can't meet demand. A report by the Agro-Raw Material
Survey indicates that Nigeria produces 785,000 metric tons (mt) of
palm oil from 2.5 million hectares. Local demand is estimated to be
in excess of 1 million mt per year, leaving a significant deficit.
2. Regarding reftel query on whether sustainable systems of
production are in place, while comprehensive information on palm oil
operations in Nigeria is not available, there are wide variations in
systems of production, ranging from wild groves, small villages to
some commercial plantations on large estates.
3. Addressing the issue of reftel request on how the Department may
provide assistance, USG support to the International Institute for
Tropical Agriculture (IITA) offices in Ibadan for adding palm oil to
their Sustainable Tree Crops Program (STCP) would have significant
impact on developing the palm oil sector, both in Nigeria and the
larger region. Currently, USDA and AID provide funding for cassava
research. The Embassy supports additional funding to AID and USDA
to support IITA in adding palm oil to their STCP.