How Nigeria spends billions on coconut importation

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Nigeria’s expenditure on coconut importation annually cannot be described as anything short of outrageous, as shown by data from the United Nations Statistical Office.

The data obtained from the UN office shows that Nigeria spent $219,446.53 and $293,214.22 on coconut importation in 2019 and 2018 respectively, an amount higher than $186,094.58 that was spent on coconut importation in 2017.

According to Nma Okoroji, the president, National Coconut Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NACOPPMAN), Nigeria’s importation of coconut has risen over years by more than 80 per cent as the country has not been able to produce enough coconut locally.

“Between 265 tons of coconut are produced in Nigeria presently and 70 per cent of it is produced by Lagos State and 30 per cent is produced by the other states in Nigeria. But, as the national president, the association cannot promote what we don’t have.

“We don’t have enough coconuts in Nigeria presently; 80 per cent of the coconuts that are used in this country are imported and the cost of importation is getting higher and higher everyday,” she said.

“In Nigeria, coconut farming is a cash tree that receives very little attention.

“The farming is a ‘gold mine’ because of its wide range of industrial applications of most of the products. For a crop not indigenous to the country, she is blessed with the trees which could help harness the development of industries through which the standards of living can be improved.

“In Nigeria, low production as a result of old plantations and the varieties, have reduced coconut industrialisation,” she added.

Coconut is one of the important and useful palms in the world.

CREDIT: PREMIUM TIMES

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