Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has committed to supporting investors in the coconut value chain, with assurances of net breaking return on their investments.
The Governor made the declaration at the maiden edition of the International Coconut Summit held in Lagos.
Sanwolu who was represented by the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, said the Government was ready to provide the enabling environment necessary to fully harness the potentials in the coconut value chain in the State.
He added that the government would encourage the commercialization of coconut for both local and export markets through seed nuts and seedling production, the establishment of plantations, seed gardens for certified nuts, arts and crafts production, coconut oil production, coconut flour and flakes production and copra production among others uses.
He stated that Nigeria produced 283,774Mt of Coconut in 2016, which increased to 288,615Mt in 2018 noting that Lagos State is the largest producer accounting for 70 percent of the national production.
“With the concerted efforts of Lagos State Government and other stakeholders in the Coconut Value Chain, the yield is expected to increase to more than 400,000Mt within the next 3 years,” he added.
Sanwo-Olu said that Lagos State has about 2 million trees with an annual production of 200m husked nuts worth about N10b and has the potential to produce up to 10m trees with an annual production of 1 billion husked nuts worth about N50b.
According to him, Lagos State is the hub of Coconut Value Chain, not only in Nigeria but the entire West Coast of Africa.
He said with the uncertainties of Oil prices dangling around $63b this year, there is was compelling need for economic diversification, greater emphasis on agriculture in general and Coconut Value Chain in particular in Lagos State.
“Coconut is one of the greatest gifts of nature to man because it exhibits a wide range of products, perhaps the most useful tree in the world. It grows naturally along coastal terrain and cultivated in about 92 countries of the world such as India, Indonesia, Philippines, Sri-Lanka and Nigeria among others” he added