The Lagos State Government has disclosed its plans to establish a coconut processing factory in the Badagry area of the state.
Acting Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya, stated this at the 2020 Coconut Day Celebration held at the Lagos Farm Centre, Agege. The celebration was tagged “Coconut in the 21st Century Economy.”
Earlier this month, President of the National Coconut Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NACOPPMAN), Nma Okoroji, had extolled the potentials of the coconut value chain.
Okoroji had observed that the product if well harnessed could generate over $400 billion in revenue annually for the country.
Speaking at the celebration, Olusanya also noted that the development would help to harness the economic potential of the fruit as well as optimise its use.
She noted that the factory would be established through a Public-Private Partnership arrangement as contained in Lagos State’s 2021 Annual Work Plan and Budget.
The factory would be dedicated to processing coconut husk to coir, coco peat and other derivatives.
Lamenting the low coconut production rate in Nigeria, Olusanya, however, expressed optimism in the potential of the coconut value chain to generate revenue as well as reduce the unemployment rate.
She said, “I believe Nigeria produces over 350,000 tonnes of coconut annually, but it is far behind what the likes of Philippine, Malaysia, and other Asian countries are producing on an annual basis.
“It is believed that with all these efforts, the Lagos state will continue to be number one coconut producer in Nigeria. This will, to a great extent, provide jobs and employment for teeming citizens.
“The support will also lead to various job creation in other areas aside from the above mentioned and contribute to export and foreign exchange earnings for Nigeria.”
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu last month had visited Badagry to inspect several moribund agro-ventures in the area.
Sanwo-Olu during the visit had assured of the state’s readiness to revive the ventures, adding that the planned action would be part of its efforts to exploit the agricultural potential of the state.