by crossriverwatch admin
Wilmer, the Malaysian company that rented the CALARO Oil Palm Estate in Mbarakom, Akamkpa Local Government Area says it has planted palm trees in 1,750 hectres of the 5,555 hectres it leased from the Cross River State Government.
Mr Henry Dosumin, the Senior Estate Manager who told newsmen in Mbarakom on Tuesday said the palms which are an improved specie of the local palms taken to Malaysia from Cross River in the sixties and seventies have gone through significant technological improvement which has tripled their production capacity. “These palms originally came from here and taken to Malaysia and have greatly been improved on and what we are doing is to return them to their original home to benefit the people”.
The Senior Estate Manager said palm seedlings were planted in 135 hectres of the area developed in 2012 and by 2016 they will be ready for harvest. ‘In Asia, the specie we have planted here produces 30 tons per hectare a year but here, we expect 20 tons per hectre and we have concluded arrangements to establish an oil refinery in the plantation to process the oil”.
He said in addition to providing employment to over 780 people, Wilmer will distribute some of its 360,000 seedlings to out growers for cultivation in local farms and plantations to serve as a source of funds to the natives. ‘The 360,000 nurseries we have here are enough to plant the whole of CALARO and from there hand some to out growers to plant in their farms and plantation which will be a source of revenue to them.”
Mr Christian Ita, the Chief Press Sectary to Senator Liyel Imoke the Cross River State governor who took the newsmen to the plantation said the leasing of the estate to Wilmer is borne out of governments decision to hands off its direct stakes in plantations. “This lease agreement between Wilmer and the Cross River State Government is borne out of the decision to privatise out stake in the plantations”.
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