ABUJA, (The Southern African Times) – The export of coconut oil and its derivatives have continued to generate sizable revenue for Nigeria, as the country recorded at least 150 million U.S. dollars in 2020 alone, said an official on Thursday.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Sabo Nanono said in a statement reaching Xinhua in Abuja that coconut has so far proved to be a major non-oil export foreign exchange earner for Nigeria.
Coconut, Nanono said, currently accounts for 10 percent of Nigeria’s agricultural exports, and by the end of this year, it is expected to generate more than 250 million dollars.
It is also the means of livelihood for more than 500,000 households, as well as women and youths, in the country, he said.
The West African country has now increased the volume of production of coconut to an average of 250,000 metric tons per annum, the minister explained.
“In 2016, Nigeria produced 283,774 metric tons and the demands for the crop have been on the increase, growing upwards to more than 500 percent in the last decade,” he added.
Coconut is grown in 22 out of Nigeria’s 36 states, with Lagos being the largest producer, according to official data.