Forum hails Lagos govt's commitment to unleash potentials on Coconut Value Chain


The Coconut Value Chain Stakeholders Forum on Tuesday commended the Lagos Government's commitment to unleash potentials among their members on food security, job and wealth creation, tourism with active private-sector participation during its Conference at Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ikeja.

According to a communique by the Forum which was forwarded to the NATIONAL PANEL by the State Coordinator, National Coconut Producers, Processing and Marketing  Association of Nigeria (NACOPPMAN), Ebonyi State Chapter, Lolo Nkechinyere Nwosibe, over 50 participants attended the conference.


The Forum considered several issues of importance relating to unleashing the potentials of the Coconut Value Chain tagged “Addressing the Bottlenecks in the Coconut Value Chain to ensure Sustainable Development in a 21st Century Economy,” one of the six pillars of the THEMES Agenda of Lagos State Government, under which Agriculture features. 

"The Forum appreciated Lagos State Government’s commitment to supporting Coconut farmers, processors, marketers, haulage operators, producers, etc. on Food Security, Job and Wealth creation, Tourism with active private-sector participation as articulated in the “THEMES” Agenda under the leadership of Mr. Governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu," the communique read in part. 

It carefully considered the bottlenecks in unleashing the full potentials of Coconut Value Chain and identified the challenge of coconut not being a staple diet of Nigerians.

Other bottlenecks identified by the Forum were the challenges of logistics on moving coconut from farms to processors including those pose by Security Agencies, inadequate supply of coconut input (raw materials) for processing and long gestation period of coconut which makes it not relatively competitive if compared to other arable crops.

It also identified the challenges of smuggling by coconut marketers to avoid proper documentation and necessary levies, challenge of financial institution in financing coconut based business due to the long gestation period of the tree crop and ROI, unavailability of locally made improved varieties for production and absence of National Policy on Coconut Value Chain.

However, the Coconut Value Chains Stakeholders Forum after several deliberations and discussions on the identified challenges, recommended that a continuous research on improved varieties with lesser gestation period by NIFOR and other research institutes be carried out.

The Forum encouraged inter-cropping with other arable crops such as pineapple, cotton, maize etc. to ensure quick ROI, and also to be rebranding coconut to attract the youths in investing in the Value Chain.

It further recommeded that an enabling environment be provided for Public Private Partnership with the private sector and other individuals, encouraged individuals to plant coconut tree in their homes and environment with establishment of tissue culture lab for mass production of planting materials.

While encouraging the collaboration between NIFOR and LASCODA in providing planting materials,  also  recommended that the trade issues and land issues to be facilitated by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment with increase in sensitization on the health, economic and environmental benefits of coconut.

It considered partnership with NAADI (Nigeria Agribusiness and Agro-Industry Development Initiative) of the Value Chain Development as a very vital, while 
encouraged individuals to increase in daily consumption of coconut, set up a committee for the replacement of old coconut plantations and urged families with land to allocate their lands through an MOU for the production of coconut.

It equally encouraged Lagos State University to  research on coconut, by identifying key entry point of Coconut into the Nigerian farming system and organizing a closed-door meeting with security Agencies to proffer a sustainable solution to the challenges of border transportation.

It called for a thorough conduct of a baseline study of the entire value chain to understand the operations within the Coconut Industry to ensure ease of doing business, synergy among MDAs in the Coconut Value Chain Development, with rehabilitation of the Coastal line through partnership with the private sector and establishment of a standard operating procedure on the importation of coconut.

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