The Federal Government has revealed that it is working toward increasing the country’s current production level of coconut from 224,186 metric tonnes (MT) to 500,000 MT by 2025.
The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Alhaji Abubakar Kyari, disclosed this on Saturday during the 2023 10th International Coconut Festival AGUNFEST held in Badagry, Lagos.
The minister who noted that Nigeria was presently ranked 19th in the world among coconut-producing countries, said that increasing Nigeria’s production level of coconut is capable of making a great economic impact on the country.
Kyari, who was represented by Mrs Abimbola Oguntuyi, the Lagos State Coordinator of the ministry, noted that the agriculture sector had enormous potential to create jobs, generate revenue, diversify the economy, and reduce dependence on oil, among others.
The Federal Minister of Tourism, Mrs Lola Ade-John, who spoke at the event, stated that the country could generate more than N20 billion in foreign exchange equivalent through coconut and its derivatives export.
Ado-John, represented by Mr Tony Okonju, a Chief Tourism Officer, pointed out that the coconut industry could provide food, raw materials, income, and employment for Nigerians.
In his keynote speech, Mr Julian Baricuatro, the President of the International Coconut Festival, Canada, called on the Federal Nigeria Government to encourage more people to plant coconut in the country and work on the value chain of coconut.
According to him, coconut farming could meaningfully engage more youths and also provide consumers with much-needed nutritional and health values.