The National Coconut Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NACOPPMAN) has called on the Federal Government to grant it a waiver to import varieties of coconut.
The association also sought collaboration in coconut export to generate up to N320 trillion to the economy annually.
Mrs Okoroji Okechukwu, the President of the Association, made the call in her address during the 2021 coconut planting season, flagged off on Tuesday in Abuja.
The theme of the 2021 season is: ‘Actualising Coconut Sufficiency in Nigeria (COSIN): Planting Coconut trees with Economic, Health and Export Potentials’.
Okechukwu said that the event marked the first step in climbing the ladder of success towards the realisation of the association’s six-year strategic plan of 2021-2027, called ‘NACOPPMAN’s Cosin Poject’.
She explained that the importance of the project on the coconut value chain development could not be quantified because of the immense benefits.
Okechukwy listed the benefits to include the creation of annual income earnings of about N320 trillion to the nation’s economy.
Others are employment generation for 100,000 result-oriented women and energetic youths; exponential growth in the nation’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
“Therefore, for the actualisation, we request for Coconut seedlings import duty waiver for the importation of one million innovative varieties from Malaysia and Indonesia.
“This is to complement the local varieties in order to improve production for local consumption and export.
“NACOPPMAN needs sponsorship for the establishment of 60,000 hectares Coconut plantation in each of the geopolitical zones at a cost of N6 million.
“We request for the inclusion of NACCOPMAN in the CBN Anchors Borrower’s Programme and support of the government in regards to funding for Research and Development on Coconuts.
“Also, we request for the establishment of Processing Hubs in all the geopolitical zones for value addition for exports,” she said.
She added that the government’s support in establishing linkages for partnership/collaboration with the major Coconut producers worldwide for Training Programmes on modern techniques for planting and processing is a necessity.
Similarly, Okechukwu pleaded with the Federal Government to assist the association in getting an export market for the variety of products, especially Coconut Oil.
She equally asked the government to assist in registering the Association with the Coconut Community based in Asia.
“We call for collaboration with the state governors to allocate lands for the establishment of the NACOPPMAN Cosin PROJECT in all the Coconut viable states of the federation.
“We also call for the support of the government concerning the establishment of Coconut Seed Bank for the availability of innovative viable seedlings,” Okechukwu said.