The National Coconut Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NACOPPMAN) has called on the government to support local production and reduce the annual expenditure on importing coconut into Nigeria.
According to Nma Okoroji, president of NACOPPMAN, the country’s low production and reduced industrialization in the market is “a result of old plantations and the varieties.” She also indicated that coconut importation has risen by more than 80 percent over the years due to Nigeria’s inability 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,” Okoroji explained.
Commenting on the predicament, Kingsley Isong, the NACOPPMAN chapter chairman for Akwa Ibom State, noted that the high cost of importation relates to a gap between production and demand, adding that what is being produced in the country cannot adequately address what is being consumed.
He urged the government to support farmers with additional improved seedlings, which are also imported, in order to further cut costs.
“I can tell you that over the last decade, the global demand for coconuts and its derivatives increased by over 500 per cent. In fact, it’s going to get worse now that we are going into actual processing when there’s going to be a serious demand for coconut,” Isong said.
“We are the highest consumer, you can imagine if Ghana that has about a million people is producing 400,000MT and Nigeria with its coconut eating population is producing only 290,000MT you can see the shortfall.”