Coconut farmers in Badagry area of Lagos State has appealed to the Lagos State Government to revive the industry in the area. Some of the farmers noted that most of the farm products were being imported from other West African countries.
A coconut farmer, Mr Joseph Setonji pleaded with the state government to address the challenges on ground, noting that several previous appeals by coconut farmers were not heeded.
”In the early days of Badagry, coconut was the major source of revenue to both government and the farmers. But now, the ancient kingdom only lives on her past glory as the major crop supposedly being produced in the community is now being imported from other West African countries, with a higher percentage coming from Ghana.
The major challenge had been the neglect of farmers by the government because most of us don’t have modern tools and the equipment for the production of coconut. The government should try to revive the coconut industry and also empower the farmers so as to stop the importation of coconut,” he said.
Another farmer, Mr Deji Poji, argued that since Badagry was the only destination to get the crop, its increasing demand was the major factor for the importation of the crop.
”The importation of the produce from other West African countries is because of the high demand for it, which the farmers could not keep up with. The government needs to address the challenges of the farmers so that we can be able to meet up to the demand and this will reduce the heavy reliance on importation. If we keep importing coconut, we will continue to be at a loss,’’ he said.
Another coconut farmer, Mr Mauho Adetunji, noted that the rejuvenation of the coconut industry would create job opportunities.
Coconut is a wonder crop as it can be used to make different things like cups, mats, bags, bangles, sandals, edible oils, ear rings, among others.
A rejuvenated Badagry in the production of this crop will not only create job opportunities, it will also boost the revenue of the local government, in particular and the state, in general,” he added.