Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has urged stakeholders in the Oil Palm industry to work toward ensuring a shared commitment to sustainable production of the crop in the African continent.
The governor made the call at the 3rd Africa Sustainable Palm Oil Conference, hosted by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and Proforest in Ghana.
According to a statement by Mr. Crusoe Osagie, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy on Thursday, Obaseki tasked the stakeholders to be part of the solution to the challenges facing the oil palm industry.
The RSPO aimed at discussing the long-term sustainable development plan for oil palm production in Africa.
Obaseki said that there was need for a sustainable plan to improve the livelihood of the people, adding, “If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.
“Let me congratulate all of you here today for demonstrating your commitment to a solution.
“It is in the interest of all of us in Africa to make sustainable palm oil the norm,” the governor said.
RSPO’s Assurance Director, Salahudin Yaacob called for a long-term sustainable development plan in the continent.
Yaacob said that RSPO could only achieve its vision of transforming markets to make sustainable palm oil the norm through collaboration with all stakeholders which included governments, financial institutions and NGOs.
Africa Regional Director for Proforest, Abraham Baffoe, said that Proforest was committed to sustainable oil palm industry in Africa.
“It is wonderful to have so much interest from companies and other stakeholders.
“We look forward to seeing these connections deepen as a result of this conference as we all work together toward an industry which contributes to the economic development of African countries whilst preserving the crucially important biodiversity of the region.”
According to the statement, the event played host to high-profile dignitaries, growers, NGOs, financial institutions and consumer goods manufacturers.
The stakeholders acknowledged the need for African oil palm producing countries to convert from net-importers to net-exporters of palm oil to increase local production of the crop.