Nigeria Produces 350,000 tonnes of Coconut Annually—Olusanya

September 2, 2020
coconut badagry

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The acting Commissioner for Agriculture in Lagos State, Ms Abisola Olusanya, has said more than 350,000 tonnes of coconut are produced in Nigeria annually.

The Commissioner made this disclosure on Wednesday at the Year 2020 Coconut Day Celebration organised by the Lagos State Coconut Development Authority at Lagos Farm Centre, Agege.

She said of this figure, which she said was still below what the likes of the Philippines, Malaysia and other Asian countries produce yearly, the contribution of Lagos State is over 70 per cent.

“I believe Nigeria as a whole produces over 350,000 tonnes of coconut annually but it is far behind what the likes of Philippines, Malaysia and other Asian countries are producing on an annual basis,” she said.

Ms Olusanya said the state government was working with private investors to establish a coconut processing factory in Badagry very soon to further optimise the use of coconut and harness the economic potentials in the value chain.

According to her, the factory will be exclusively dedicated to the processing of coconut husk to coir and coco peat, among others, under a Public-Private Partnership arrangement in the State’s Y2021 Annual Work Plan and Budget.

“It is believed that with all these efforts, Lagos State will continue to be the number one coconut producer in Nigeria. This will, to a great extent, provide jobs and employment for teeming citizens.

The support will also lead to various job creation in other areas aside from the above mentioned and contribute to export and foreign exchange earnings for Nigeria,” she said.

While reiterating Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s commitment to adopting a much more robust food security strategy for the State next year, the Commissioner said the theme of this year’s celebration Coconut in the 21st Century Economy was aimed at creating awareness for the promotion of production, processing, utilisation and commercialisation of the coconut value chain.

She said that the occasion takes into cognisance the fact that Nigeria ranks 18 among over 92 coconut producing countries of the world.

“This occasion, therefore, serves as another timely wake up to go back to the basics and rekindle the interests and values of coconut and its plethora of products for social, environmental, economic and wellness advantages as seen to be practised and enjoyed sustainably by coconut driven economies.

“Lagos has a comparative advantage for coconut production, processing, utilisation and commercialisation and as of today, remains the hub of Coconut in Nigeria and all coconuts traversing the West Coast of Africa,” she said.

Ms Olusanya noted that the implementation of many initiatives in the coconut sub-sector by the state government is to further bring awareness of the potentials of coconut that have not been fully tapped.

She congratulated all the coconut value chain actors and assured them of government’s continuous support in providing an enabling environment to unleash potentials of the wonder crop to an enviable level.

In his presentation, Dr Joshua Odewale of the Nigeria Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR), Benin City, Edo State, urged the government to set up an endowment fund for coconut and coconut products, national consumption and export for about 20 years, noting that the Philippines set a 25-year endowment fund goal.

He expressed the need for government to take coconut as a personal crop, know the crop and identify the genuine stakeholders in the coconut industry as well as the secondary product needs of the industry.

Modupe Gbadeyanka

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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