LASG to partner FAO on coconut production



The Lagos State Government says it is set to partner with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to boost the coconut value chain in the state, conservatively estimated to be in excess of N350 billion yearly.

Deputy Gov. Obafemi Hamzat, who made this known when a team from FAO, led by its Country Representative, Mr. Fred Kaffero, paid him a visit in Lagos on Wednesday, added that the partnership would ensure that the state’s coconut production improves significantly and the its value chain strengthened.

“As we all know there are different varieties of this cash crop, FAO will assist with the technical know how and support with the production itself.

“Being a research based organization, FAO will visit different sites in the state, take the soil samples and the coconut; assess the variety and make necessary recommendations to the state government on replacement strategy, procedure and the variety available for planting,” he said.

The deputy governor noted that the collaboration would start immediately with a meeting between the FAO and local farmers, to educate them on planting and harvesting periods.

He added that the Ministry of Agriculture, on its part, will work with the farmers to ensure quality product, while identifying the best way to process it, as the potentials of the coconut sector and its value chain, presents real opportunities for income generation.

Earlier, in her remarks, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, said that the development of the coconut sector would ensure sustainable food security, income, employment and wealth creation, that would impact on the economic development of the state.

Kaferro commended the Lagos state government for its commitment to food and agriculture production, noting that the issues relating to coconut were important, as it goes from production to variety, processing and to a healthy coconut and how it is consumed.

He added that agriculture and its entire value chain requires partnership especially, as coconut gives opportunities for income generation for different segments of the society be it in production, export or marketing of the crop.

The FAO representative disclosed that the organization was in the state to provide the needed technical support required for tapping into employment opportunities. (NAN)