Wednesday, February 22, 2017 7:41 am
Mr Victor Ihediwa, a don, on Tuesday called for a boost in palm kernel oil production in order to achieve rural industrialisation, food security and economic development.
Ihediwa, of the Department of Agriculture and Bioresources Engineering, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU), made the call during the first International Conference of MOUAU Post Graduate Students’ Association in Umudike.
He said that palm kernel oil production was a profitable venture that could provide another means of economic diversification in view of the current economic recession.
In his paper entitled “Properties, Processes and Machines aimed at Industrial Ext
raction and Refining Of Palm Kernel Oil: A Brief Guide”, Ihediwa noted that the demand for palm kernel oil and palm kernel meal for domestic and industrial applications was on the increase.
“Palm kernel oil-based material is utilized in the production of different products, resulting in increased interest in its extraction and refining.
“It alleviates the shortfalls of edible oil in the diet, and, therefore, provides enormous revenue to both farmers and the nation.
“The oil is completely free of cholesterol and contains Vitamin K, A, D, and E with long shelf life.
“Also, the oil and its byproducts are used in producing food ingredients.
Earlier in his speech, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Francis Otunta, said that the conference was timely, considering the state of the nation’s economy.
Otunta expressed optimism that the outcome of the conference would promote economic
The theme of the conference was “Diversification of Nigeria’s Economy via Non-Oil Producing Sector”.