Lagos has shown it’s readiness to make use of coconut to harness the economic potential
News Rain reports that Lagos State Government, under the leadership of Mr. Babajide Sanwo Olu, has shown it’s readiness to make use of coconut to harness the economic potential for the State.
The State acting Commissioner for Agriculture Abiola Olusanya on Wednesday affirmed that the state is set to establish a coconut processing factory in Badagry that will be dedicated to the task of processing of coconut husk to coir, and Coco peat, as to make judicious use of coconut to harness the economic potential in the value chain.
Lagos Mark ‘2020 Coconut Day’
Olusanya, in her address the at the Year 2020 Coconut Day Celebration at Lagos Farm Center, Agege, a program that was organized by the State Coconut Development Authority with the topic “Coconut in the 21st Century Economy, noted that the initiatives will further boost the State’s position as the number one coconut producer in Nigeria in addition to providing employment opportunities for the teeming citizens.
Olusanya, stated that the processing factory would also catalyze the entire industry, such that more people will come within the sub-sector and create more business opportunities in the value chain, stressing that Lagos State is the largest coconut producing state in Nigeria, contributing over 70 percent to what the nation produced.
Olusanya further noted that “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 base.
She said that the occasion takes into cognizance the fact that Nigeria ranks 18 among over 92 coconut producing countries of the world, of which Lagos State contributes about 70 percent of the national production of coconut and its products.
“We are very much far behind. To further optimize the use of the coconut value chain, the state has proposed to establish a coconut factory in Badagry solely dedicated to the processing of Coconut husk to Coir, coco peat, etc. under a PPP arrangement in her 2021 Annual Work Plan and Budget (AWPB).
Olusanya commended Governor Sanwo-Olu’s commitment to adopting a much more robust food security strategy for the State next year.
She said that “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.
In his brief contribution, Dr. Joshua Odewale of the Nigeria Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR), Benin City, Edo state in his presentation, urged the government to set up an endowment fund for coconut and coconut products for national consumption and export for about 20 years, noting that the Philippines set a 25-year endowment fund goal.
Dr. Joshua maintained that there was a need for the government to take coconut as a personal crop with a focus on development for enhancement of survival.