The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations and United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) on Friday presented a 300-page report on coconut value chain analysis to the Lagos State Government.
Mr Suleiman Abubakar, Assistant Food and Agriculture Organisation representative to Nigeria, presented the report to the Lagos State Government on behalf of the FAO-UN and UNIDO.
He said the importance of the report was to create coconut on planting awareness to ensure its sufficiency in Nigeria, create more jobs while increasing the state’s GDP.
Mr Fred Kafeero, FAO-UN Country Representative to Nigeria, said the report would form the basis for investment in the coconut value chain by both public and private sector.
He said the report would help to foster the upgrading strategy for the development of the proposal in the state.
Kafeero was represented by Mr AlHassan Cisse, Head, North East Emergency Operations.
According to him, the official presentation of the Coconut Value Chain Analysis report today marks the beginning of a second phase partnership with Lagos state.
“This will ensure sustainable food security, improved livelihood, economic development in terms of revenue generation, improving the standard of living and local economy of Lagos people through employment and wealth creation opportunities.
“It will improve the overall environmental impact in mitigating against climate change and global warming.
“This is such a big progress that we should all celebrate about since the main objective is to make the coconut value chain in the state more feasible and cost effective.
“With assurance of optimum return of the government’s investment,” he said.
The FAO country representative commended the state government for promoting agriculture and coconut development in addition, make Nigeria among the top 10 coconut producing countries in the world by 2030.
“On behalf of FAO, I will like to once again commend the Lagos state for its efforts in promoting agriculture and specifically developing the coconut value chain to create employment opportunities for the teeming youth’s population.
“I want to reiterate that FAO will continue to strengthening its partnership with the Lagos state government in the development of programmes, building of capacities and facilitation of policies on all matters relating to food security and nutrition.
Receiving the report on behalf of the Lagos state government, Ms Abisola Olusanya, State Commissioner for Agriculture said government was doing a lot in promoting coconut value chain in the state.
Olusanya promised speedy implementation of the report.
She said the report was aimed at ensuring coconut contribute maximally to making Lagos a 21st century economy by creating more employment and more wealth for Lagos.
The commissioner said that the implementation of coconut upgrading strategy as contained in the document would attract more than twenty times the present public and private investments into value chain.
“The creation of close to 500,000 employment opportunities and supporting their livelihood, contribute significantly to fighting the effects of climate change by curbing phenomenon such as coastal erosion among others in the next five years.
She, however, urged LASCODA to develop a five-year plan for the smooth implementation of the report.
In his remarks, Mr Dapo Olakulehin, the General Manager, Lagos State Coconut Development Authority (LASCODA), said the report would help in the area of production, processing and commercialisation of coconut.
Olakulehin said a survey tagged Coconut Value Chain Analysis (VCA) designed an effective action plan that identified the necessary public and private investments, technical assistance, and policy implications for sustainable coconut value chain development.
“The cost of the survey was jointly borne by the LASG 75 per cent and FAO/UNIDO 25 per cent.
“FAO jointly implemented the coconut value chain analysis and design, with the UNIDO under the FAO-UNIDO jointly managed Agrifood Systems Transformation Accelerator (ASTA), previously known as 3ADI+.
“Consequently, the 289-page coconut value chain analysis has been completed, and an upgrading strategy developed for the development of the coconut value chain in Lagos State,” he said.
The programme was attended by Dr Olurotimi Fashola, Special Adviser to the Governor on Rice Value Chain, Mr Afolabi Ayantayo, SA Parastatal Monitoring Office and Mrs Tokunbo Emokpae, Permanent Secretary ministry of Agriculture.
Others include Ibrahim Obajomo, PS Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Emmanuel Olajide, Director of Budget, Dr Osuyi Otu, UNIDO Programme Officer (Nigeria) and Mrs Adeola Akinrinlola, Programme Officer, FAO Nigeria. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)