‘How Lagos can generate N50b from coconut’
Lagos State government has disclosed how it could generate about N50 billion yearly from instead of the current N10 billion being generated.
The state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said this at the maiden edition of the International Coconut Summit in Ikeja.
According to the governor, the state had about two million trees with a yearly production of 200 million husked nuts worth about N10 billion and has the potential of more than 10 billion trees with an annual production of one billion husked nuts worth about N50 billion.
He also pledged the support to prospective investors in the coconut value chain, assuring them of adequate returns on their investments.
Represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, he said his government was ready to provide the enabling environment necessary to fully harness the potentialities in the coconut value chain.
The governor added that the state would encourage the commercialisation of coconut seeds and seedlings for both local and export markets, the establishment of plantations, seed gardens for certified nuts, arts, and crafts production and coconut oil production, among others uses.
“Coconut value chain contributes significantly to the economy of the country considering the fact that it is being grown in commercial quantity in more than 22 states of the federation. Lagos State is paying special attention to this crop being the largest producer, accounting for 70 per cent of the national production.
“As of 2016, Nigeria produced 283,774 metric tonnes of coconut and this increased to 288,615 tonnes in 2018. With the concerted efforts of Lagos State government and other stakeholders in the coconut value chain, the yield is expected to increase to more than 400,000 tonnes within the next three years,” the governor hinted.
The governor pointed out that with oil prices averaging $63pb this year, thereby leading to uncertainty in the nation’s revenue, there is a compelling need for economic diversification, greater emphasis on agriculture in general and coconut value chain in particular in the state.
The summit, he said, served as a timely wake-up call to go back to the land and rekindle the interest and values of coconut and its myriads of products in the state and the country in general as being practiced by some coconut-driven economies.
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