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April 19, 2024

Coconut Farmers Seek FG’s Support, Say Sector can Generate Over $400bn

In order to reduce the burden on coconut farmers and boost production, the President of the National Coconut Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NACOPPMAN), Dr Nma Okorojie, has appealed to the government to provide the association with necessary pesticides, farmland and plant enhancing products. 

NACOPPMAN President said the Federal Government should support with the provision of hybrid coconut seedlings and land allocation to boost production.

While speaking with journalists on Monday in Abuja, she noted that the provision of hybrid coconut seedlings would transform Nigeria’s economy.

Her words: “Coconuts can generate more than 400 billion dollars into the Nigerian economy annually if proper attention is given to its production and processing.

“We want the government to give us innovative hybrid coconut seedlings like Malaysian varieties that produce fruits between three years and four years.

“One hectare of coconut plantation takes 200 trees and the hybrid variety that we are promoting produces the minimum of 100 nuts per tree after three years.

“If each nut is sold at N100, the farmer gets ₦2 million annually. There is no better business than that and the trees can thrive and keep producing for 80 years.”

Okorojie further decried the fact Nigeria currently imports coconut rather than exporting it, which she blamed the situation on poor attention given to coconut production by the government.

“Nigeria has more land than Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Benin Republic, but they produce more coconut than Nigeria.

“It is also disheartening that the association is not getting any government support,’’ she said.

Okorojie identified other challenges of coconut farmers to include paucity of funds, unavailability of organic pesticides, manure and other plant-enhancing products, mechanisation and irrigation system.

“We want the government to give us tractors because coconut cultivation occupies large expanses of land and is difficult to cultivate without mechanisation.

“We also appeal to the government to assist us to irrigate our farms because coconut requires regular water supply,’’ Okorojie said.

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