Edo farmers undergo training on coconut value chain

Fifty coconut farmers in Edo State, on Wednesday, completed a two-day training organised for them by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, FEMARD, on how to improve the production of the coconut value chain.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, speaking during the training, said that the two-days training was to improve the livelihood of coconut farmers in the state.

Nanono added that the training was done through the Integrated coconut-based agroforestry system and plantation establishment organised under the coconut value chain of the ministry.

The minister who was represented by Mr Bernard Ukattah, Deputy Director, FEMARD, stated that the training was done in collaboration with the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR).

“This workshop is coming at a very crucial moment of the country’s recovery from a difficult spell of the recent COVID-19 pandemic. It is out of the need to attain food security, self-sufficiency and improve the livelihood of coconut farmers that the government decided to create awareness and build the capacity of the farmers and improve the technical know-how of coconut farmers to increase productivity and ensure the quality of products for local and international markets,” he said.

The National President of the National Coconut Producers, Processors And Marketers Association of Nigeria, NACOPPMAN, Nma Okoroji said the association planned to reposition the coconut value chain in Nigeria.

Okoroji said NACOPPMAN’s mission was to actualise its road map of midwifing the establishment of 10,000 hectares and plant two million coconut trees in all viable states.

“Statistics shows that despite arable lands for coconut production, Nigeria still lacks behind global coconut producing countries of Indonesia and Philippines. Nigeria produces a negligible quality of only 364,000 metric tons annually. Lagos state dominates the local production with its output of 257,000 metric tons annually,” she said.

“NACOPPMAN is working to achieve 10,000 hectares of coconut plantation in each state in the first phase. One hectare of coconut plantation will create employment for women and youths. Every 10,000 hectares will be generating 10,000 jobs, creating meaningful employment opportunities to 340,000 Nigerians in over 34 coconut viable states,” she added.

The processing hub, she added was capable of creating over 340 million employment opportunities in the country.

The Acting Executive Director of NIFOR, Dr Celestin Ikuenobe urged the farmers to take advantage of the training to improve the production of coconut to create wealth for themselves and the nation.

Ikuenobe advised the farmers to buy seedlings from NIFOR which he said were the best in the country.

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