Capacity building for coconut farmers, processors in Edo
In its bid to improve the livelihood of coconut farmers and processors, the Federal Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development (FMARD) has trained 50 farmers and processors on agro-forestry system-based plantation model in Edo State.
The Minister of Agriculture, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, said the training was one of the Federal Government’s plans to attain food security and self-sufficiency in Nigeria.
Representes by a director in the ministry, Chukwuemeka Ukattah, the minister said: “In an effort to attain food security, self-sufficiency, as well as improve the livelihood of coconut farmers and processors, the government, through the coconut value chain, decided to provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to establish and maintain a successful plantation.”
The minister said members of staff would be trained on nursery establishment, field development, harvesting and processing to meet local and international markets standard and demand.
The executive director of the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR), Dr Celestine Ikuenobe, said the country’s coconut production was far below the demand.
Said he: “I am sure that if the National Coconut Producers Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NACOPPMAN) worked with this agro-forestry based plantation model, the coconut value chain would be on a scale that could contribute very significantly to our economy.
“We suddenly got a huge demand for coconut seedlings in the last three to four years, but we were caught napping because we did not prepare for the fact that there was going to be an upsurge in the demand for coconut seedlings.”
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