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Minister calls for more investment in coconut industry



News Today 2

By Chinenye Offor

Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment Mariam Katagum called for more investment in the coconut industry for economic growth.

Katagum made the appeal at the inauguration of this year’s coconut planting season with the theme “Updating Coconut Sufficiency in Nigeria (COSIN) on Tuesday in Abuja.

She said more investments would develop the coconut sub-sector by boosting production, creating jobs through its many value chains and also improving the economy.

She noted that the government is committed to developing the coconut sub-sector and will work with the association to create effective support systems for its growth.

According to her, it is imperative that the association develops an effective work and growth plan that can be supported by the government for the expansion of the commodity.

“As a ministry, we are committed to supporting activities that will help harness the immense benefits of coconut for the economy, which is why the ministry nurtured and formed the National Association of Producers, Processors and Traders. Nigerian Coconut (NACOPPMAN).

“Coconut is a commodity of great economic, medicinal and nutritional value and its market in Nigeria is huge. Unfortunately, the local supply can only meet about 20% of the demand, hence the urgent need to tackle the supply. constraints.

“The global coconut market is over $ 6 billion which means the opportunities are huge and as the 18th largest coconut producer in the world we need to work harder to increase our market share.

“Therefore, the launch of the 2021 coconut planting season is a vital step in a series of activities to update the coconut master plan for economic, health and export potential.

“Without a doubt, we need more coconut plantations and industries to support the few that already exist in states such as Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Rivers, among others,” she said. .

The minister called on the private sector to seize the opportunity to develop the coconut value chain in Nigeria to help meet consumer demand, adding that we cannot continue to import what we can produce locally. .

Dr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, permanent secretary of the ministry, said the event was in line with the current administration’s efforts to develop the non-oil sector by boosting agricultural production to increase foreign exchange, wealth and the creation of ‘jobs.

Represented by the director of the human resources department, Mr. Samuel Alabi, he praised the association’s six-year 2021-2027 plan to establish 10,000 hectares of coconut plantation in each of the viable states for the nut. coconut in Nigeria as part of the “One family, three coconut trees” campaign.

He added that the plan was an ambitious and achievable plan with the potential to rename and reposition the industry as a profession of choice for all.

Earlier, Ms Nma Okoroji, president of the association, said Nigeria’s coconut industry is 80 percent untapped with the potential to generate more foreign exchange than current crude oil revenues.

She added that the coconut industry has an inelastic value chain that transcends health benefits, job creation for young people and women, economic empowerment of families, the medical industry, furniture, household kits and national income to increase gross domestic product.

According to her, the critical point of the 2021 coconut planting season was to achieve the updating of coconut sufficiency in Nigeria through the establishment of the coconut plantation.

“Culture can play an important role in the economic development of the states of our dear country. We cannot continue to import what we can produce locally, ”she said.

Mr. Sabo Nanono, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that agriculture is important in the development of the nation and thus stressed the need to diversify the economy from oil to agriculture.

Represented by a deputy director in the ministry, Mohammed Usman, the minister noted that the coconut industry has the capacity to increase the country’s GDP, provide business opportunities and jobs. (NAA)


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