The Castor Growers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (CASGPMAN) and Raw Material Research and Development Commission (RMRDC) hold a sensitization seminar on castor, with the theme, “Re-Engineering Castor Seed Production/Processing and Marketing for National Economic Growth”.
Three papers were presented at the event. The first by was by Prof. F. F. Bello, with the title, “Best agronomy practices for castor seed production”. The second paper titled “Prospects and challenges of castor processing in Nigeria” was presented by Chief (Dr.) Audu Ogbe. And the third and final paper was presented by Alhaji Ali Lawal (National President, CASGPMAN), and titled “Public Private Partnership in Castor oil development in Nigeria”.
Speaking to our correspondent at the end of the event, Chief Ogbe said came in contact with castor in 1987 but could not do anything despite his interest until eleven years ago when he built castor processing plant in partnership with some Indian business men. Unfortunately the plant has not been functional due to some problems like lark of seeds and lark of shellers. He said there is a great prospect for castor producers in Nigeria as the produce can replace fuel if seriously harnessed.
The national coordinator of CASGPMAN, Mr. Nwosu Reginald Oguchi, told our reporter that the seminar was the first promising government gathering they were having even though the association has been around for some time. He said castor generates over three billion dollars worldwide annually and India makes 2.8billion of the amount. He posited that castor change the face of Nigeria just like palm oil changed the face of Malaysia. On production capacities from the members of CASGPMAN, he said it was nothing to write home about. He listed some states that have some reasonable outputs thus; Akwa Ibom, Oyo, Ogun, Bornu, and Kogi States. He said that products that can come out of castor seed are numerous to count. Some of them are can be used in the pharmaceutical industry, paint industry, minting, aviation etc. He enjoined government agencies to help in sensitization of the activities of the association so that more people will be part of the success story.
CASGPMAN is domiciled with the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment. People who want to get information about the association can go to Room 317, block D, Old Secretariat, Area One, Garki Abuja.