A director of First African Cocoanut Company, Mr. John-Bede Anthonio, has urged the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK) to plant coconut trees instead of ordinary ornamental trees.
He disclosed this to The Guardian yesterday in a press release, saying the economic value of coconut is huge and should be planted as a re-forestation strategy.
Some of the reasons Anthonio adduced was that planting coconut trees have greater economic values. The economic benefits include employment creation, income generation to the state government and value addition opportunities. A coconut, on the average, sells for N150 and one coconut tree can produce about 200 nuts a year. A tree, therefore, will generate about 30,000 yearly.
Another reason is that coconut is indigenous to Badagry, Lagos and the state is one of the best ecologies for coconut propagation, nurseries, and production. Hence, he urged the LASPARK to maximize the comparative advantages to get many people employed and generate resources for infrastructure development.
Coconut is on the Lagos emblem. This implies the importance the state attaches to the economic tree and should walk the talk.
From 2015 to 2018, LASPARK claimed it planted 7 million trees but Anthonio said, “Imagine if they had planted only one million coconut trees, Lagos would have had stories to tell.”
He said about N30,000 income from one coconut tree in a year at full maturation will amount to about N210 billion yearly if 7 million coconuts trees are planted.
“The value chain for coconut is wide and from coconut, you can produce over 200 items,” the entrepreneur said.
He added coconut would generate employment opportunities for graduates and women.
“Please, I appeal that they should plant coconut trees,” Anthonio said.