The National President, NACOPPMAN, Mrs Nma Okoroji, said this on Wednesday during the Coconut Planting Season flag-off exercise in Badagry, Lagos.
The theme of the event is, “Coconut Sufficiency in Nigeria (COSIN): A Legacy for Sustainable Economic Development in Nigeria “.
According to her, coconut subsector is one sector in Nigeria that is 80 per cent untapped.
“The target of the association is for at least 32 states in the country to have 10,000 hectares of land for planting of coconut.
“If in each state of the federation we can have at least 10,000 hectares of land for the production of coconut and each family is planting three coconut in their environment, this can turn around the economy of the country.
“Consequently, with coconut trees planted in at least 10,000 hectares of land in at least 32 states in Nigeria, there is assurance that every state will generate at least N60bn annually from coconut production,” she said.
She said that the association hosted the flag-off of the national planting in Badagry to sustain the history of coconut in Nigeria.
“We have to sustain the history by encouraging our youths to see the need to invest in coconut planting so that this legacy will continue from one generation to others,” Okoroji said.
Also speaking, the Chairman, Board of Trustees, NACOPPMAN, Mr Alphonso Inyang, urged the Federal Government to make coconut a priority crop in the country.
Inyang appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to grant access to the funding of coconut to enable farmers to plant more seedlings.
He said the Federal Ministry of Industry and Investment should come up with a policy that would encourage planting of the product.
The chairman urged government to come up with a policy that every primary, secondary school, general hospitals and higher institutions should be populated with coconut trees.
According to him, this will help in sending the message to the people.
In his remark, the General Manager, Lagos State Coconut Development Authority (LASCODA), Mr Dapo Olakuleyin, said that the state government had been doing a lot in promoting coconut value chain in the last four years.
He said that the state had been able to secure the attention of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations and United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in the development of coconut value chain.
Olakuleyin said the two international agencies would intervene in the area of production, processing and commercialisation.
According to him, all these are aimed to ensure that coconut contribute maximally to making Lagos a 20th century economy by creating more employment and more wealth for Lagos.
The President, African Coconut Heritage Initiative, Mr Doheto Mesi, said the importance of the event was to create the awareness on planting of coconut to ensure its sufficiency in Nigeria.
Mesi, who is also the Chairman of the 2022 programme, said the aim of the programme was to tell people the need to plant and invest in coconut value chain.