Lagos State government, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), has begun the rehabilitation of its coconut belt with a view to ensuring the sustainable production of coconut seedlings for the cultivation of no fewer than 10 million coconut trees by 2014.
In a statement, yesterday, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, explained that the collaboration would also ensure the rehabilitation of coconut groves and the creation of over 500,000 job opportunities and wealth through training, capacity building and empowerment of youths and women in the coconut value chain.
The collaboration became critical, she said, because coconut is one of the major cash crops in the state, producing over 80 per cent of the country’s yearly production of 285,200 metric tonnes. She added that its capacity had earned the state the 19th position on the world coconut-producing countries.
“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 (FAO) to provide technical support in the development of the coconut value chain through unilateral trust fund,” Olusanya stated.
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, as well as the overall environmental contribution, especially in mitigating the impacts of climate change and global warming,” Olusanya said.
Source: The Guardian