In collaboration with the Nigeria Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR), the Federal Ministry of Agriculture has trained 30 coconut farmers on nursery establishment, field development, harvesting, and value addition in Edo State.
The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Ernest Uwakhihe, said on Thursday, in Benin, at the opening ceremony of a capacity building workshop for coconut farmers.
Acting Executive Director of NIFOR, Dr Celestine Ikuenobe, said coconut production offered great opportunities for export earnings. Earlier, Mrs Okoroji Okechukwu, the National President, the National Coconut Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria, commended the sponsors of the workshop, saying that it would transform the agricultural sector.
Again, the permanent secretary expressed the Federal Government’s commitment to boosting the livelihoods of the farmers. He said that the workshop came at a moment when the country was recovering from effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is at the point of turning around the nation’s economy by supporting farmers.
“Coconut is one of the most important and useful economic tree crops. It’s a major non-oil export foreign exchange earner for the country, providing livelihood for more than 500,000 families in Nigeria,” he observed, He commended NIFOR for partnering with the federal government in conducting the capacity building workshop.