The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development says it has trained 30 coconut farmers on nursery establishment, field development, harvesting, processing and marketing in Edo.
The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr. Ernest Uwakhihe, said this on Thursday in Benin.
He spoke at the opening of capacity building workshop for coconut farmers in collaboration with the Nigeria Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR).
Uwakhihe expressed the federal government’s commitment to changing the socio-economic status of farmers.
He said that the capacity-building workshop was coming at a very crucial moment when the country was recovering from a difficult spell of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is at the point of turning around the nation’s economy by supporting farmers.
“Coconut is one of the most important and useful economic tree crop.
“It’s a major non-oil export foreign exchange earners for the country, providing livelihood for more than 500,000 families in Nigeria,” he observed,
He commended NIFOR for partnering with the federal government in conducting the capacity building workshop.
The Acting Executive Director of NIFOR, Dr. Celestine Ikuenobe, said that coconut production offered great opportunities for export earnings.
Earlier, Mrs Okoroji Okechukwu, the National President, National Coconut Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria, commended the sponsors of the workshop, saying that it would transform the agricultural sector.