The Lagos State Coconut Development Authority (LASCODA) says it will produce one million coconut seedlings in conjunction with the private sector in 2022.
LASCODA’s General Manager, Mr Dapo Olakulehin, said on Wednesday in Lagos that the collaboration would see the agency producing 200,000 seedlings while individual farmers and others produce 800,000 coconut trees
He said that the government would later sell the seedlings to farmers across the state at subsidised rate.
The general manager said that the distribution pattern would be through input support and technical support to be given to out-growers to enable them sell at affordable prices.
Olakulehin disclosed that the authority had in the last three years planted more than two million coconut trees, adding that the trees naturally had long gestation periods
He added that with the initiative, the state’s hope of achieving 10 million coconut trees within the next five years would be possible.
“We will start to see the impact of what we are doing in the next six to seven years in terms of the effort in replanting the old coconut trees and planting new ones across the length and breadth of the state.
“When we look at the Five-Year Agricultural and Food System Strategic Road Map of Lagos State, coconut is prominently mentioned there and the target is to have 10 million coconut trees within the next five years, the official said.
Olakulehin said the government would build capacity of the value chain actors, and partner with international and national organisations with interest in the value chain to develop the sector.
He said that LASCODA had introduced Eko Coconut Bread Initiative, capacity building and training of youths, women and persons living with disabilities (PWD) in the production of different coconut products.
“Now in 2022, what we are trying to do is to consolidate some of the achievements that we have made in the last three years.
“With this, the coconut value chain is contributing to making Lagos a 21st Century Economy; where some members of the populace are being gainfully employed.
“We are encouraging people to plant at least one coconut tree where feasible and it will be noted that during this administration of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, coconut has been fully incorporated into the Tree Planting Campaign activities.
“In 2021, it was coconut that was planted by Mr Governor to commemorate the Tree Planting Campaign.
”In other words, this year, we are collaborating with these organisations in order to consolidate and renew efforts in making coconut to contribute in making Lagos a 21st century economy.
“They are Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nation, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation; Lagos State Employment Trust Fund; the Lagos State Office of Disability of Affairs.
“Others are the Lagos States Sport Commission in conjunction with the Lagos State Sports Trust Fund as well as the Lagos State College of Nursing.
“These organisations are going to work with LASCODA closely this year, so that we jointly unleash the potential of all for the development of the economy of Lagos state,” he said.