The Akwa Ibom State Government has assured that coconut oil business remains one of its main focus in diversifying the State’s economy.
It has also promised to enhance coconut crop production through research on improved farm inputs to farmers in the state.
Governor Udom Emmanuel, represented by his Deputy, Mr. Moses Ekpo, gave the assurances at the world coconut day celebration with the theme “Invest in Coconut to Save the World” held at the Idongesit Nkanga Secretariat in Uyo.
He said, “Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy and we will leave no stone unturned in supporting farmers”.
He commended farmers who came out to celebrate the first world coconut day in the state, adding that the celebration has created awareness of coconut fruits and its benefits to humanity.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Glory Edet who presented coconut seedlings to the farmers restated that coconut has many potentials with multiplier effects on income and industrial growth of any economy.
She noted that Akwa Ibom is recognized as one of the states that have invested in coconuts.
“We have 11, 000 hectares coconut Plantation at Mkpat Enin and in other local government areas of the state.
“We have the largest coconut refinery in Africa that can process 300,000 coconuts in a day and we celebrate with great enthusiasm to encourage groups and individuals to participate in coconut cultivation.”
The keynote speaker, Professor Nyakudo Ndaeyo, Deputy Vice-Chancellor University of Uyo during his speech tagged “Coconut value chain prospects and challenges” explained that inconsistency is the challenge facing agriculture in the state while praying for commitment and consistency towards the coconut plantation and refinery built by Governor Udom Emmanuel.
The Chairman of National Coconut Producers, Processors, and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NACOPPMAN) Prince Kingsley Usanga in his goodwill message eulogised Governor Emmanuel for having foresight planning crude oil impending exit with Coconut a profitable replacement as the new mainstay.
Also speaking on behalf of the farmers, the publicity secretary of NACOPPMAN Ernest Robert advised people to invest in coconut as over 200 products can be derived from processing the coconut from husk, milk, oil to fiber.
The high point of the celebration was the presentation of coconut seedlings to the Deputy Governor, Directors from various ministries present, and farmers in the state and dance performance from cultural groups.
Govt House, Uyo
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