Mrs Okoroginma Ogechukwu, the President, National Coconut Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NACOPPMAN), has called for more investments in coconut plantation in the country.
Ogechukwu made the call in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos on Wednesday.
She said that the potential of the sector had remained untapped due to lack of adequate investments.
She said the available coconut plantation in the country could not produce the needed quantity for the increasing demand of the cash crop.
Ogechukwu said that the Federal, State and Local Governments, foreign investors as well as the Diaspora communities should invest more in coconut.
NACOPPMAN is an apex body, established to nurture and authorised by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, to coordinate the activities of the coconut industry in Nigeria and globally.
The association was inaugurated in September 2019 in Abuja.
She said that Nigeria was faced with the challenge of going back to its own coconut plantations with the recent closure of land borders by the Federal Government.
She said the country could not promote what it did not have, saying that government must pay attention to the coconut industry by establishing more plantations.
“Thank God for the closure of land borders because we have been exposed to the reality that 90 per cent of coconuts consumed in Nigeria is coming from other African countries.
“We import coconuts from Ghana, Togo, Seme borders and other African countries.
“Now, with the closure of borders, we are faced with the reality of going back to our plantations, ’’ Ogechukwu said.
She said governments at all levels and investors should take advantage of the opportunities presented by the closure to invest in coconut plantation and its value chain.
She said the closure of land borders had exposed the reality that 90 per cent of coconuts consumed in the country were imported.
“We have to consciously invest in coconut plantations in Nigeria and that’s the only way out. We cannot promote what we don’t have.
“How can we be promoting other countries when we have the arable land for the plantation. A crop that can grow in the 36 states of the country; it is advisable to invest in it,” Ogechukwu said.
She urged Federal, States and Local Governments as well as the diaspora communities to tap into the huge market by investing in the industry.
She described the coconut industry as a good retirement benefit for investors.
“I want to call on the government, investors and those in the diaspora to invest in coconut.
“With coconut investment, you can be making 80 per cent return on investment and the coconut continues producing until the next 60 years.
“It is the best retirement benefits and investments you can imagine and with that, our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will grow and there will be employment opportunities for our youths.’’ Ogechukwu said.
Edited by Abdullahi Mohammed/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)
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