Solidaridad, IDH Launch NISCOPS-2 Project, Target 12,000 Oil Palm Farmers

Solidaridad in partnership with the IDH yesterday launched phase 2 of the National Initiative for Sustainable and Climate-Smart Oil Palm Smallholders (NISCOPS-2) in West Africa.

With support from the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the project will be implemented for a period of five years (2024 – 2028) covering Akwa-Ibom, Cross Rivers, Enugu and Kogi States.
The project aimed to support over 12,000 smallholder oil palm farmers in fostering a more environmentally friendly and socially equitable future for Nigeria’s palm oil production sector in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

It will also enable governments to support farmers, build their capacity to improve performance, develop mechanisms to operate in landscapes prone to deforestation and peat degradation.

Speaking at the launch in Abuja, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Wouter Plomp reiterated the Netherlands’ commitment to drive the initiative to a successful conclusion.

Highlighting the critical balance between oil palm economic growth and environmental conservation, Plomp emphasised the project’s goal of safeguarding Nigeria’s forests while ensuring fair distribution of economic gains in the sector.

Head of programmes for Solidaridad in West Africa, Nathaniel Amoh Boateng, emphasised the project’s focus on sustainability and environmental protection.

“NISCOPS-2 seeks to help farmers produce more sustainably without harming the environment, encouraging investment within existing landscapes and reducing deforestation,” he stated.

Boateng added that the project aimed to unlock climate finance opportunities for farmers and enable them to adopt best management practices to reduce carbon emissions.

Programme manager for Solidaridad, Kene Onukwube, elaborated on the advancements anticipated in the second phase.

He explained that “the first phase significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions and improved oil palm yields to 1.5 tons per hectare. This second phase aims to scale these successes across more locations, further enhancing sustainable practices and preparing farmers for international markets by building their capacity on sustainability standards”.

Onukwube also noted the importance of payment for ecosystem services which he said aimed to motivate farmers to take responsibility for forest conservation and rehabilitation of degraded landscapes.

The NISCOPS-2 project also aimed towards building a sustainable palm oil production in Nigeria, to address both environmental and social challenges while improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.

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