The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a global organisation, has begun a14-month capacity building programme for farmers in four oil palm producing communities in Edo.
Mr Fatai Afolabi, the Managing Consultant and Chief Executive Officer, Foremost Development Services Ltd., an Intermediary Organisation for the RSPO started the programme in Benin on Sunday.
According to him, the selected farmers are youths, women, elders, including community-based organisations drawn from Madagbayo, Gbelebu, Udo and Maroghionba communities in Ovia South-West Local Government Area of the state.
Afolabi said that the training was a Community Outreach and Engagement Programme (COEP) targeted at stakeholders within the oil palm producing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
He noted that the outreach programme would take place in six oil palm producing local government areas in the state.
He listed the benefitting local governments to include Ikpoba Okha, Ovia South-West, Ovia North-East, Ovia South-West, Uhunmwonde, Owan West and Orhionmwon.
The consultant further said that between 90 and 120 farmers as well as other stakeholders would benefit from the capacity building in each of the local government.
He explained that the programme was designed to ensure an equitable level playing field for all stakeholders in the oil palm industry.
”The programme will focus on three impact goals of Prosperity, People and Planet.
“With this training, RSPO wishes to educate the communities and other stakeholders in the oil palm value chain on the standards to adopt sustainable palm oil production.
“It also wishes to raise the level of awareness of the people on the obligations of the communities and companies producing sustainable palm oil.
“Also, on matters relating to their rights, livelihoods, social and environmental management, protection of communities and employees,” he said.
The managing consultant said that in all of these, the overall aim of RSPO was to make sustainable palm oil the norm.
He said that the organisation choose Edo for the COEP because of its status as a major producer of sustainable palm oil in Nigeria.
He said that RSPO was a global multi-stakeholder initiative on sustainable palm oil and non profitable international membership organisation that united stakeholders from the palm oil sector.
In October 2022, during the official launch of the programme in Edo, RSPO said it had committed $300,000 into the promotion of sustainable palm oil production in the state.(NAN)