The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (FMAFS) distributed 14,633 hybrid coconut seedlings to farmers in five states on Tuesday to boost productivity.
The states that benefitted are Lagos, Edo, Anambra, Akwa-Ibom, and Kogi.
The ministry explained that it carefully selected the five major coconut-producing states as beneficiaries because of their optimal production, adding that other producing states would benefit soon.
In a message to the ceremony, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Abubakar Kyari, stated that the coconut seedlings distribution aimed at mitigating the effect of the 2022 flooding.
He added that the event marked a significant step toward the growth and prosperity of the country’s coconut industry.
The minister was represented by Mrs Omolara Oguntuyi, Director, FMAFS, Lagos State office.
“In Nigeria, the coconut sector holds immense potential to drive economic growth, enhance food security and promote sustainability.
“The coconut value chain is among the crops being promoted by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.
“We envision a future where Nigeria is not only self-sufficient in coconut production but also become a global leader in the coconut industry.
“As we distribute these seedlings today, I encourage our coconut farmers to embrace this opportunity with enthusiasm and determination,” she said.
She commended the efforts of coconut farmers and urged them to push the frontiers of the sector.
“Your unwavering commitment to nurturing these palms, often under challenging circumstances, especially through the flooding period, has contributed to the economic growth and food security of our nation.
“In addition to the seedlings, government is committed to providing the necessary support, training, and provision of resources to help you to maximise your coconut farming potentials.
“Together, we will build a vibrant coconut industry that benefits farmers and enhances the livelihoods of countless Nigerians,” she added.
In his remarks, Mr Oladapo Olakulehin, General Manager, Lagos State Coconut Development Authority reiterated government’s commitment to growing the coconut sector and improving its value chain.
“This occasion marks a significant milestone in our on-going efforts to bolster agricultural production and enhance food and nutrition security in Lagos State and the entire country.
“I express our gratitude to FMAFS for its commitment to support our coconut farmers particularly in the face of flooding challenges that posed significant threats to our agriculture sector.
“We are committed to creating a sustainable and prosperous future for our coconut farmers, promoting entrepreneurship, and ensuring a greener, healthier, and more economically-vibrant Lagos State for all its residents.
“The distribution of improved coconut seedlings by FMAFS today is a clear testament to the positive impact of collaborative efforts in ensuring the success of our coconut farmers.
“These seedlings, tailored to thrive in our local conditions, will empower small-holder coconut farmers to increase their yields, improve the quality of their produce, and ultimately elevate their economic status,” Olakulehin said.