Obasanjo prescribes replacement for oil as revenue source
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has canvassed avocado farming as replacement for oil as Nigeria’s major foreign income earner.
The most populous black nation, according to him, could be largest producer of the crop by 2030 if farmers are well motivated.
Obasanjo spoke when the Avocado Society of Nigeria (ASN) paid him a courtesy visit at his Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) Pent House residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The ex-leader, who was conferred with the grand patronship of the organisation, said the country possessed all it takes to overtake East Africa in the production of the fruit.
He said: “I want to see Nigeria becoming one of, if not the leading avocado producer in Africa.”
The Owu chief had explained: “Avocado is a unique crop and very lucrative venture which can be done as either a business or a hobby, from having a plantation, or just few trees in one’s compound.
“I am happy to be a member of this association. I hope more people will appreciate the value of avocado business and join us either as a hobby or as a business.
“Avocado is a very healthy fruit with numerous benefits. The oil as well as the pulp from it is used in the cosmetic industry, pharmaceutical companies and therapeutic activities. I will say a bit of avocado everyday keeps the doctor away.”
He thanked the leadership of the organisation for the honour, assuring them of his total commitment, even as he restated that the crop could replace oil in the country.
“Those of us who have been privileged to know about avocado production must not hold the information to ourselves. In my simple opinion, this is the new oil of Nigeria, if it is effectively tapped into,” Obasanjo added.
The society’s Chief Executive Officer, Sola Bunmi Adeniyi, lauded the elder statesman for promoting agriculture in Nigeria, and Africa at large.