The National Coconut Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria
(NACOPPMAN), has said that the country has the potential for generating over N10 Billion annually from farmers and agro- business entrepreneurs through the coconut subsector.
President of the Association, Mrs Nma Okoroji who disclosed while speaking with journalists said, the necessity to promote coconut production, processing and marketing came to the fore following the fact that coconut is one of the viable and valuable cash crop in the agricultural sector.
She said coconut production is endowed with the potential of improving the economy of Nigeria, through the establishment of coconut plantations and value addition for agro-entrepreneurship.
She also said coconut production which would create jobs, would also boost the nation’s foreign exchange earnings through export potential, relevance to nutritional food security, robust value chain development and contribution to national growth.
Her words: “Cococonut is grown in 32 states in Nigeria and it is most viable plant of choice in the much-Needed Environmental Remediation and forestation. Every viable states has the potential for the production 10 Million coconut trees with annual production of over 1 Billion husked nuts, worth over 45 Billion Naira.
“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, therefore urged state governments to collaborate with the association in assisting them with lands for coconut plantation across states.
Also speaking with journalists, the Project Coordinator, Federation of Agricultural Association of Nigeria (FACAN), Isaac Ojonugwa, said the association would 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.
“NACOPPMAN will be collaborating with FACAN to fill in the gaps in supplying raw materials which the processors will lead them to the market”, he added