Nigeria: How to earn over N10b from coconut yearly

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Nigeria has the potential to earn over N10 billion yearly from farmers and agro- business entrepreneurs from the coconut subsector, a group, the National Coconut Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NACOPPMAN),  said on Thursday in Abuja.

Its President, Mrs. Nma Okoroji, who spoke with our reporter said the necessity to promote coconut production, processing and marketing is due to the fact that coconut is one of the viable and valuable cash crops in the agricultural sector.

She said the product is endowed with the potential of improving the economy  through the establishment of coconut plantations and value addition for agro-entrepreneurship.

She said coconut would also boost the nation’s foreign exchange (forex) earnings through export potential.

“Coconut is grown in 32 states in Nigeria and it is most viable plant of choice in the much-Needed Environmental Remediation (NER) and forestation. Every viable states have the potential for the production 10 million coconut trees with annual production of over one billion husked nuts, worth over N45 billion.

“Statistics has shown that the price of coconut oil cannot be compared to the price of crude oil as a barrel of coconut oil keep appreciating more than the barrel of crude oil.

“It is also one of the very few plants that even peasant farmers with small holdings are ready to protect and nurture because it accommodates mixed cropping and can grow the GDP of Nigeria exponentially, creating jobs to the timing youth and women, crime reduction and mitigation of social vices in Nigeria,” she added.

Mrs. Okoroji further highlighted the challenges which hinders coconut production such as poor technology know-how and lack of good hybrids to assist farmers.

She however called on state governments to collaborate with the association in assisting them with lands for coconut plantation across states.

In a separate interview, the Project Coordinator, Federation of Agricultural Association of Nigeria (FACAN), Isaac Ojonugwa, said the association will be linking the smallholder farmers to major off takers to create income.

He said the association intends to get the database of farmers that are involved which will guarantee price at the prevailing market that will be beneficial to the farmers and off takers.

He said: “NACOPPMAN will be collaborating with FACAN to fill in the gaps in supplying raw materials which the processors will lead them to the market.

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