NIGERIA – Nigeria’s start up coconut company, First African Coconut Company, has unveiled plans of establishing a 10,000 hacares coconut plantation in Nigeria to boost local production.
John-Bede Anthonio, an agribusiness entrepreneur and pioneer of the coconut company said that the firm is working in partnership with the Lagos State Coconut Development Authority with an aim of propelling the country’s coconut sector into a leading coconut producer.
“This year, we are trying to plant 2 million coconut trees in Lagos alone and we want to expand to 10 states in Nigeria, targeting 10,000 hectares in the next 10 years.
Right now, we are selling seedlings to farmers at N2,000 (US$5.54) per one and we are monitoring and
In the fourth year, those seedlings will start to produce and we want to buy all the nuts from the farmers,” he explained
Anthonio said that the firm is focused on promoting exportation of the commodity products and through capacity building through its adoption of backward integration of various aspects in the coconut value chain.
“We focus on processing, packaging and presentation. Processing and labelling is very critical and building capacity is also important because buyers want to see the level of quality,” he said
The company exported its first coconut processed products, coconut oil and water, to the US market but was however was unable to sustain the market due to
The coconut company reveals that coconut production in other parts of the world remain high while Africa still strolls behind with less than 1 million tonnes.
“Whole of Africa, we do not produce up to 1 million tonnes of coconuts per annum while Indonesia produces 28 million tonnes of coconuts and Philippine produces 16 million tonnes of coconuts.
And the whole of Africa, which is 30 million square kilometres, does not produce up to 1 million tonnes.
So, we decided to take it, and do it across Africa, starting with Nigeria, in Lagos specifically,” said Anthonio.
This comes at a time when Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari has sensitized on the importance of diversifying the country’s economy through agriculture and promoting exports.