Considering the historical economic and nutritional value of the coconut industry to Nigeira, the Federal Government has called on coconut farmers to tap into coconut‘s huge international market and improve its production volume.
The Minister of State for Industry Trade & Investment, Amb. Mariam Katagum, speaking at the opening of the 2021 Coconut planting season tagged: “Actualizing Coconut Sufficiency in Nigeria”, explained that though Coconut comes with many economic benefits, its production in Nigeria stands at 20% while the global market for it is valued more than $6 billion.
She said, “Therefore, as the 18th largest world producer of coconuts, we must work harder to increase our market share, and the best strategy is to start cultivation of the commodity for improved yield. ‘One Family, Three Coconut Trees’ is strategic, and you must sustain the vision”.
Stressing that government is dedicated to the development of the Coconut sector, AmbKatagum said Nigeria requires more coconut plantations and industries in addition to the existing ones in AkwaIbom, Rivers and Lagos States.
According to her, “as a Ministry, we are committed to supporting activities that will help harness the immense benefits of coconut to the economy, which is why the Ministry nurtured and formed the National Coconut Producers, Processors, and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NACOPPMAN).
The President of National Coconut Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria, NmaOkoroji, in response, disclosed that the Coconut market has the ability to generate foreign exchange that will boost Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“That is the critical point why the 2021 Coconut planting season flag-off is aimed to achieve the actualisation of coconut sufficiency in Nigeria (COSIN) through the establishment of coconut tree planting, the establishment of 10,000 square meters of coconut farms in all coconut viable states, and 1 family 3 coconut tree initiative,” she explained.