Exhibitors, among others at the World Coconut Day celebration on Sunday, said they were impressed with the Lagos State Government’s drive to develop coconut value chain.
The state government, through the Ministry of Agriculture and the Lagos State Coconut Development Authority (LASCODA), in collaboration with the African Coconut Heritage Initiatives, organised an event to mark World Coconut Day.
The theme for the 2018 edition is ” Harnessing Coconut Production for Economic Empowerment and Tourism Development in Lagos State.”
Mr Nathaniel Hodonu, a coconut artist, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the state government was doing a lot in coconut development.
He, however, called for the rejuvenation of coconut trees to complement efforts being taken by the state.
Hodonu said that trees were being cut down indiscriminately and advocated the planting of 10 trees to replace one coconut tree cut down.
“What the state government is doing in the coconut value chain is commendable, but there is urgent need to start planting new trees.
“If we do not engage in massive replanting, the production of coconut will drop, and we will depend on other countries to produce coconut for us.
“I basically use coconut shells bought from coconut oil processors and they are quite affordable and highly profitable, ” he said.
Another artist, Mr Rotimi Abayomi, told NAN that he was excited to be part of the exhibitors to show his works at the event.
Abayomi said: “The state government is really trying to drive economic development through coconut production and this is commendable.
“However, we would like to appeal to the government to help us with small scale processing centers in Badagry because of the large scale of coconut production, ” he said.
Also at the exhibition stand was a coconut processing company from India, GEM Allied Industries Private Limited.
Mr Shashank Garg, a representative of GEM Allied, told NAN that the company would soon open an office in Nigeria.
Garg said that the company, when open, would provide latest technologies in the coconut value chain.
Mrs Anthonia Bello, a participant at the event, also commended the government for hosting the 2018 event.