Lagos, Jan. 31, 2024: The National Coconut, Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NACOPPMAN), South-West Chapter, says Nigeria needs 700,000 metric tons of coconut to bridge processing gap of the commodity.
Mr Mesi Doheto, the association’s Vice President, stated in Lagos on Tuesday that the country’s coconut production level was lower than its consumption and processing needs.
Doheto, also the President of African Coconut Heritage Initiative (AFRICOCO), noted: “We have about a million tons of coconut needs in the country and we are producing less than 300,000 metric tons.’’
“This has led to a vacuum of almost 700,000 metric tons of coconut, which we have no option than to import to the country.
“Now, we are talking about diversification, looking out for things that we can do to bring foreign exchange into the country and coconut can fill that gap,” he said.
Deheto, therefore, called on states, Federal Government and other stakeholders to invest more in coconut production to ensure its sufficiency in the country.
“It is a lot to be desired by, looking toward what we can do as stakeholders, investors, government and nation toward ensuring coconut sufficiency in Nigeria.
“We are encouraging people to come into production because to us as an association, the most important thing is to see how we can increase our present capacity.
“Nigeria is currently ranked 19th in the coconut producing countries of the world but we can do better.
“We want to see how we can push Nigeria from the 19th position in the world to the 10th position,” he said.