UN agencies present coconut development report to LASG
Agriculture Food Security

UN agencies present coconut development report to LASG

Two agencies of the United Nations (UN) on Friday presented a 300-page report on coconut value chain analysis to the Lagos State Government.

The agencies are the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).

Mr Suleiman Abubakar, Assistant Food and Agriculture Organisation representative to Nigeria, presented the report to the state government on behalf of the FAO-UN and UNIDO.

He said it was important to create coconut planting awareness to ensure its sufficiency in Nigeria and 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 the public and private sectors.

Kafeero said the report would help to foster the upgrading strategy for the development of the proposal in the state.

He was represented by Mr AlHassan Cisse, Head of North East Emergency Operations.

According to him, official presentation of the report marks the beginning of a second phase of partnership with Lagos State.

“This will ensure sustainable food security, improved livelihood and economic development in terms of revenue generation.

“It will also improve the standard of living and local economy of Lagos people through employment and wealth creation opportunities.

“The report will improve the overall environmental impact in mitigating climate change and global warming.

“This is a big progress that we should all celebrate.

“The main objective is to make the coconut value chain more feasible and cost-effective.

“It has an 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.

This, he said, will make Nigeria among the top 10 coconut-producing countries in the world by 2030.

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“On behalf of FAO, I commend the Lagos State for promoting agriculture and specifically developing the coconut value chain.

“This will create employment opportunities for the teeming youth population.”

He reiterate that FAO would continue to strengthen its partnership with the state government in the development of programmes.

He added that the UN agency would assist in building capacities on all matters relating to food security and nutrition.

Receiving the report, Lagos Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, said the state government is promoting coconut value chain.

Olusanya pledged a speedy implementation of the report.

She said the report aimed at ensuring that coconut contributes maximally to making Lagos a 21st-century economy.

Olusanya said the coconut upgrading strategy, contained in the document, would attract more than 20 times the present investments.

“Creation of 500,000 employment opportunities would contribute to fighting the menace of climate change.

“This is possible by curbing coastal erosion among others in the next five years,” the commissioner said.

In his remarks, Mr Dapo Olakulehin said the report would help in the area of production, processing and commercialisation of coconut.

Olakulehin is the General Manager of the Lagos State Coconut Development Authority (LASCODA).

“FAO and UNIDO jointly implemented the coconut value chain analysis and design, under the jointly managed Agrifood Systems Transformation Accelerator (ASTA).

“ASTA was previously known as 3ADI+.

“Consequently, we have completed the 289-page coconut value chain analysis.

“We have also developed an upgrading strategy for the development of coconut value chain in Lagos State,” he said.




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