The National Coconut Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NACOPPMAN) urged the FG to grant import waivers on coconut import, especially seeds, in a bid to generate N320 trillion for the economy annually.
This was disclosed by Mrs Okoroji Okechukwu, the President of the Association, as the 2021 coconut planting season, flagged off on Tuesday in Abuja.
The 2021 season, themed: ‘Actualising Coconut Sufficiency in Nigeria (COSIN): Planting Coconut trees with Economic, Health and Export Potentials’ is viewed by stakeholders as a catalyst towards the implantation success of the association’s six-year strategic plan of 2021-27, called ‘NACOPPMAN’s Cosin Project.’
“Therefore, for the actualisation, we request for coconut seedlings import duty waiver for the importation of one million innovative varieties from Malaysia and Indonesia. This is to complement the local varieties in order to improve production for local consumption and export.
NACOPPMAN needs sponsorship for the establishment of 60,000 hectares Coconut plantation in each of the geopolitical zones at a cost of N6 million.
We request for the inclusion of NACCOPMAN in the CBN Anchors Borrower’s Programme and support of the government in regards to funding for Research and Development on Coconuts.
Also, we request for the establishment of Processing Hubs in all the geopolitical zones for value addition for exports,” Mrs Okoroji said.
Okechukwu added that the actualisation of the project would be beneficial to the nation’s economy, including a N320 trillion boost to the economy, and over 100,000 jobs.
Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and investment, Mariam Katagum, called for more investment in the space, citing that the FG is committed to the growth of the coconut industry in Nigeria.
“As a Ministry, we are committed to supporting activities that will help harness the immense benefits of the coconut to the economy, which is why the ministry nurtured and formed the National Coconut Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NACOPPMAN),” she said.
“The Coconut is a commodity with lots of economic, medicinal and nutritional value and the market for it in Nigeria is huge. Unfortunately, the local supply can only meet about 20 per cent of the demand, hence the need to urgently address the supply side constraints.
The global market for the coconut is in excess of 6 billion dollars, which means that the opportunities are huge and as the 18th largest world producer of coconuts, we must work harder to increase our market share.
Without doubt, we need more coconut plantations and industries to support the few that are already existing in states such as Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Rivers among others,” Katagum added.