By Jimoh Babatunde
Lagos state commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, has revealed plans to increase the value of coconut value chain from the present N76BN per annum to N350BN per annum in the next 5 years in the State.
She also reiterated that one of the objectives of Coconut Value Development is to have 10 million active and productive Coconut trees for sustainable supply of raw materials to Coconut based industries.
She spoke at the commencement of 2021 edition of training of youths and women on arts and craft with the use of coconut shell, held at farm service centre, Oko-oba, Agege, during the week.
Olusanya said the training being put together for 1000 youths and women by the Lagos State Coconut Development Authority, LASCODA, is to produce more than 15,000 agri-preneurs by building their capacity and empower them not only to become economic independent but also employers of labour.
The Commissioner represented by the General Manager, Lagos State Coconut Development Authority, Dapo Olakulehin, said: “This is one of many agricultural empowerment, training and skill development programmes lined up by the Ministry of Agriculture for year 2021 with the overall objectives of creating job opportunities for more than 15,000 youths and women before the end of the year.”
While noting that the training is practical oriented, Ms. Olusanya disclosed that the trainees will be supported with basic tools.
“In addition, serious and successful ones will be given the opportunity to be certified by the Entrepreneur Development Institute (EDI) of CBN for accessibility of credit facilities for expansion of their trade.
“Thus, one of the immediate outcomes of this training will be provision of sustainable sources of livelihood, income and employment generation to youths and women in the State.”
She noted that the economic and environmental potentials of Coconut since the inception of this Administration has started yielding result to the extent that private sectors and international partners are now showing energetic interest in the value Chain.
“This year, a 10,000 Metric Ton per Annum Coconut Husk Processing Factory is being proposed for Badagry under PPP arrangement. The factory when operational will generate 1,000 and more than 3,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities respectively.
“Discussion is also at an advanced stage with a private sector on creation of 10,000 jobs from the Eko Coconut Bread Initiative.”