15th August, 2021
Lagos State Government in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has begun the rehabilitation of its coconut belt.
They intend to cultivate no fewer than ten million coconut trees by 2024.
Ms Abisola Olusanya, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, explained that the collaboration would also ensure the creation of over 500,000 job opportunities in the coconut value chain.
According to her, Coconut is one of the major cash crops in the State with over 80% of the country’s annual production of 285,200 metric tons.
This, she said, earned Lagos State the 19th position on the World Coconut producing countries.
Olusanya added that despite efforts of the government, the State has only been able to access 20% of its potentials through rehabilitation and production efforts upstream and processing, utilization and commercialization are downstream while only meeting about 30% of the local demand.
“It is pertinent to note that the strategic 5-year Agricultural Road Map of having 10,000,000 productive Coconut Trees will provide over 80 husked nuts per tree to a total of over 800,000,000 husked nuts per annum currently valued at an average of ₦100 per nut with the economic value of over ₦76Billion per annum which could be tripled to a tune of ₦240Billion worth of transaction volume with value-added annually. These figures can only be achieved if the right technical and financial supports are provided.
“It is in the light of this that the State Government through the Lagos State Coconut Development Authority is collaborating with Food and Agriculture Organisation to provide technical support in the development of the Coconut Value Chain through a unilateral trust fund,” Olusanya opined.
She stressed that the collaboration apart from ensuring sustainable food security through sustainable, resilient and good agricultural practices in the Coconut subsector.
According to her, it would also ensure the promotion of development-oriented policies that support productive activities across the value chain, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation.
Also that it would encourage the formalization and growth of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises especially in the downstream sector of the value chain including access to inclusive financial services.
The Commissioner added that it would also guarantee the development of quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and trans-border infrastructure to support economic development and human well-being through the coconut industry.
“The collaboration will help us as a State to ensure economic development in terms of revenue generation, improved standard of living, development of the local economy through employment and wealth creation opportunities.
”It will also ensure the overall environmental contribution especially in mitigating the impacts of climate change and global warming,” Olusanya asserted.