Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu says he will continue to explore potentials in the Coconut value chain to boost the state economy.
He said this at the opening session of the first International Coconut Summit in Lagos, with the theme ‘Unlocking the Industrial and Socio-Economic Potentials of Coconut.’
Sanwo-Olu, who was represented at the Summit by the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, said he will encourage the commercialization of Coconut for both local and export markets in Seed nuts and Seedling production, Coconut Biscuits, Candies, Coconut Oil, Milk Water, Establishment of plantations among others.
“Agriculture remains the fulcrum of human survival all over the world, of which majority of its resources were donated by nature with little or no efforts by man to ensure its sustenance,” he said.
“It is not an overstatement that Coconut is the most useful single tree in the world in terms of versatility: product utilization and longevity. One old famous writer said and I quote, ‘Coconut Palm is alone sufficient to build, rig, and freight a ship with bread, wine, water, oil, vinegar, sugar and other commodities.”
He added that Lagos state is paying special attention to this crop being the largest producer accounting for 70% of the national production.
“As at 2016, Nigeria produced 283,774Mt of Coconut and this increased to 288,615Mt in 2018. With the concerted efforts of Lagos State Government and other stakeholders in Coconut Value Chain, the yield is expected to increase to more than 400,000Mt within the next 3 years.”
Reality and potentials
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya explained that the Summit is another campaign promise fulfilled by the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, which provides a platform where reality comes face with the potentials of the coconut value chain industry.
“Lagos State felt inspired to put this summit together because coconut is our heritage crop that State has a comparative advantage in both up and downstream sectors, with over 100 economic derivatives. The International Coconut Summit is an indicator of the eagerness of the State Government to galvanise the already existing structures and expose fresh innovations, particularly with the coconut value chain.” she said
Highlights of the event was the symbolic presentation of 200 coconut seed nuts to each local government that are on the coastal rail in the State.