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World Coconut Day: Association advocates planting 10,000 hectares of coconuts in states

In commemoration of World Coconut Day, the National Coconut Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NACOPPMAN) has called for the planting of 10,000 hectares of coconut in viable states across the country.

Coconut tree
The coconut palm tree with-fruits

Dr Nma Okoroji, National President of NACOPPMAN, who made the call in an interview on Saturday, September 2, 2023, in Abuja, said the gesture would enable the country meet coconut sufficiency by 2027.

Okoroji identified the viable states as Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Yobe, Ogun, Adamawa, Niger, Taraba, Borno, Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Kwara, Kogi, and FCT, among others.

Okoroji, who decried the less than 50,000 hectares of land cultivation for commercial coconut plantation at the moment, however, advised the government and others to scale up the hectares.

She called for dedication of one million hectares for coconut plantation in the country.

World Coconut Day is commemorated annually on September 2 and the theme for 2023 is “Sustaining Coconut Sector for the Present and Future Generation”.

Nma identified strategy for achieving Coconut Sufficiency in Nigeria (COSIN) as “One Family, Three Coconut Trees”.

She said the initiative reflects the association’s dedication to empower families, communities, individuals and corporate bodies (Private/Public) to actively participate in the sustainable development of the coconut sector in the country.

“The ‘One Family, Three Coconut Trees’ initiative encourages every family to plant and nurture three coconut trees.

“This simple, yet impactful endeavour, not only contributes to increased coconut production but also enhances biodiversity, supports soil conservation, and provides a pathway to economic empowerment.

“By promoting this initiative, we aim to catalyse a grassroots movement that resonates with the ethos of sustainable agriculture and responsible resource management,” she said.

She said coconut sector plays a crucial role in the nation’s economy and livelihoods, adding that its cultivation, processing, and value addition have provided a source of income for countless households and communities across the country.

According to her, the 2023 World Coconut Day holds the promise of being a transformative platform that not only celebrates coconut’s significance but also fosters a collective commitment to sustaining and enhancing the coconut sector’s contributions for both present and future generations in Nigeria.

She said: “Through thoughtful discussions, innovative strategies, and collaborative efforts, we aim to propel the coconut industry to new heights of prosperity, resilience and sustainability.

“The September 2 annual global observance of World Coconut Day serves as a platform to promote awareness, innovation and sustainable development in the coconut industry worldwide.

“The event aims to raise awareness among stakeholders and the general public about the critical significance of the coconut sector for both present and future generations.

“It is a day when countries, communities and organisations unite to recognise the multiple dimensions of coconut’s contribution – from nutrition and health to livelihoods and environmental preservation.”

Speaking on the theme, the president stated that “coconut is a tree for today and the future. The coconut legacy in Nigeria must be preserved for posterity.”

Okoroji, who said the World Coconut Day would be commemorated in Nigeria on September 6, called for the participation of the public in the Nigerian Export Promotion Council.

By Felicia Imohimi

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