As part of plans to empower processors in the coconut value chain, the Lagos state government has distributed coconut processing equipment to 12 Local Government and Local Council Development Areas in the state.
The items were distributed at an Empowerment Programme for the Coconut Value Chain organised by the Lagos State Coconut Development Authority (LASCODA) in Oko-Oba, Agege.
Some of the coconut processing equipment distributed include stainless two ton per hour coconut grater, 7.5 H.P electric motor, industrial burners, aluminum bowls and spoons.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Food Security, Mr Okanlawon Sanni while distributing the processing equipment to the beneficiaries, said the gesture was aimed at boosting food security in the state.
According to him, government included coconut processors in its agricultural development programme with a view to developing the State’s coconut value chain.
“The goal of distributing the equipment is to expand the scope of coconut processing operations in the state and further collaborate with the private sector in promoting the coconut value chain. I urge you to ensure optimal utilisation of the equipment for the purpose they are meant for; diverting the use of the equipment in any form or illicit use is prohibited. Coconut growers in the state have been empowered with more than 30,000 coconut seedlings and not fewer than 600 youths and women have also been trained on the production of coconut oil and arts craft,’’ he said.
Also speaking, Mr Oluwatoyin Suarau, State Commissioner for Agriculture, assured coconut processors that the government would continue to support progressive activities that contribute to the improvement of coconut processing in the state.
Suarau said that coconut value chain had a lot of potential that could be harnessed to impact positively on the GDP of the country.
He urged the coconut processors to do more in promoting the legacy of coconut as a crop of heritage.
“Coconut has been scientifically proven to have a lot of medicinal values when consumed on regular basis. “Many products such as coconut oil, coconut cream, soap, “burundi’’, coconut water, hair cream, coconut body cream, coconut candy and many others can be made from coconut, if properly harnessed,’’ he said.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mr Muhammad Mustapha, President, Lagos State Coconut Processors, commended the government for adding value to the coconut industry.
“All government efforts geared toward developing the coconut industry are yielding good results and we promise to do our best to complement these efforts,’’ he said.
The equipment were distributed to coconut processors from Badagry, Kosofe, Ori-Ade, Oto-Awori, Ibeju-Lekki, Epe, Ojo, Surulere , Ikorodu, Lekki, Agege and Alimosho LGAs.