Export consultant, Abdulkadir Hassan has projected that Nigeria has the potential to earn $4 billion from the export of coconuts.
Hassan, who spoke to LEADERSHIP, said the partial closure of border by federal government is currently creating new opportunities for Nigerian coconut farmers and new players are strongly motivated to go into coconut farming, especially with the improved species that start fruiting early.
Hassan is also the chief executive officer of ZHE Africa Ltd. He said though the country is among the top 20 producers of coconut, a large chunk of coconut being consumed is imported from neighbouring countries with Ghana supplying about 60 per cent.
Other suppliers according to him include Republic of Benin and Togo, but recent partial closure of land borders has affected the supplies and the retail price has skyrocketed across the country.
Hassan said, that Nigeria produces about 288,000 metric tons per annum on 39,000 hectares harvested area and that on the other hand the country has the potential of being among the top three largest producers if the area under cultivation is increased, new plantations developed and modern farming techniques employed.