ABUJA – The Federal Government on Tuesday said Nigeria only meets 20 percent of the local demand for coconut in the country.
Amb. Mariam Katagum, Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, stated this in Abuja, on the occasion of the flag-off of 2021 Coconut Planting Season organised by the National Coconut Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NACOPPNAM).
Katagum explained that the local supply of coconut can only meet about 20% of the demand, hence the need to urgently address the supply side constraints.
The minister therefore, urged the private sector to bridge the production gap, in a bid to create more jobs and generate wealth in the country.
According to her, “I wish to call on the private sector to key into the opportunity of developing the coconut value chain in Nigeria.
“As I said earlier, we are currently producing just 20% of the coconut we consume. We cannot continue to import what we can produce locally. The Coconut is a commodity with lots of economic, medicinal and nutritional value and the market for it in Nigeria is huge.”
“Unfortunately, the local supply can only meet about 20% of the demand, hence the need to urgently address the supply side constraints.”
The minister pledged the commitment and support of the Ministry to harness the huge economic benefits of coconut.
“As a Ministry, we are committed to supporting activities that will help harness the immense benefits of the coconut to the economy, which is why the Ministry nurtured and formed the National Coconut Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NACOPPMAN).”
“This was done to create a value chain for both local and international consumption of the commodity, especially now that the export market is growing appreciably.”
“The global market for the coconut is in excess of USD $6 billion, which means that the opportunities are huge. Therefore, as the 18th largest world producer of coconuts, we must work harder to increase our market share, and the best strategy is to start cultivation of the commodity for improved yield.”
“Your campaign, “One Family, Three Coconut Trees” is strategic, and you must sustain the vision.”
Katagum further commended NACOPPMAN for initiating and promoting the establishment of 10,000 hectares of Coconut Plantations in each of the Coconut viable States in Nigeria, under the “One Family Three Coconut Trees” campaign.
She pointed out that the programme would reposition the coconut industry in the country to be among the largest coconut producers in Africa and the world at large, adding that the 2021 Coconut Planting Season flag-off, was a vital step in a series of activities to actualise the coconut master plan for economic, health and export potential.
Earlier, the Coordinator of NACOPPMAN, Mrs. Okoroji Nma Okechukwu, said the Nigerian coconut industry is 80 per cent untapped with massive importation, adding that the industry has the potential to generate foreign exchange greater than the current crude oil earnings as well as boost Gross Domestic Product (GDP).