FG to increase coconut production to 500,000 metric tonnes in 2025: Minister

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, says the federal government is working toward increasing Nigeria’s current production level of coconut from 224,186 to 500,000 metric tonnes (MT) by 2025.

Mr Kyari said this during the 2023 10th International Coconut Festival AGUNFEST in Badagry, Lagos, on Saturday.

The festival’s theme was: “A Decade of Coconut Culture to Ignite Century Action Plan For Coconut Prosperity in Nigeria”.

According to Mr Kyari, Nigeria is ranked 19th in the world among coconut-producing countries, and there is a need to increase the current production level from 224,186 MT to about 500,000 MT by 2025.

He said: “1,000 coconut seedlings have been graciously approved for the festival. AGUNKEFEST 2023 is not just a celebration of coconuts but also a call to action.

“It is a call to farmers, researchers, entrepreneurs, and policymakers to collaborate and work toward developing the coconut sub-sector,” he said.

Mr Kyari urged Nigerians to work together to promote the growth and sustainability of the coconut industry.

“I am convinced that if the full potential of the sector is properly harnessed, it is capable of making a great economic impact on the country,” he said.

The minister, represented by Abimbola Oguntuyi, the Lagos State coordinator of the ministry, said agriculture should be treated with all seriousness it deserves as a business with enormous potential.

Mr Kyari said such potential includes jobs for youth, revenue generation, diversification of the economy, reducing over-dependence on oil, earning and conserving foreign exchange and expanding revenue sources.

Also speaking, Lola Ade-John, the Minister of Tourism, said the festival would promote tourism and celebrate Nigeria’s culture and traditions besides boosting the Nation’s economy.

She said the country could generate more than N20 billion in foreign exchange equivalent by exporting coconut and its derivatives.

In his keynote address, Julian Baricuatro, the president of the International Coconut Festival, Canada, urged the Nigerian government to encourage more people to plant coconut in the country.