Nigeria wants to tap into the multimillion global coconut market

Industry experts forecast that the global coconut products market will reach $31.1 billion by 2026. There are campaigns for the government and the private sector to explore opportunities in the international market to earn foreign currencies.

In 2019, the number of coconuts produced worldwide reached 62 million tons. Overall, coconut oil production continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The average coconut export price stood at $487 per ton in 2019.

The countries with the highest volumes of coconut oil production are the Philippines (1.2 million tons), Indonesia (885,000 tons) and India (390,000 tons), with a combined 76 per cent share of global production. Vietnam, Mexico, Malaysia and Cote d’Ivoire lagged behind, together accounting for a further 12 per cent.

Instead, Nigeria,  according to  the United Nations Statistical Office, spent $219,446 and $293,214 on coconut importation in 2019 and 2018. Nationwide, the coconut industry is distressed. Not only is its productivity low and stagnant, it is losing ground in the highly competitive global vegetable oils market.

The President of the National Coconut Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NACOPPMAN), Nma Okoroji, said Nigeria’s coconut import has risen over the years by more than 80 per cent as the country has not been able to produce enough coconut.

“At  present about 265 tons of coconut are produced in Nigeria and 70 per cent of it is in Lagos State while 30 per cent is produced by the others. But, as the national president, the association cannot promote what we don’t have. We don’t have enough coconuts in Nigeria; 80 per cent of the coconuts that are used are imported and the cost of importation is getting higher and higher every day,” she told

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