By Abimbola Dolapo
An Entrepreneur in coconut business has called on the Federal Government to provide coconut seedlings for farmers to boost yield.
Miss Selome Hunpatin, Managing Director of Selomnaturelle, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that there was scarcity of coconut in Nigeria.
Hunpatin said that this made farmers go as far as Togo and Ghana to get coconut.
“Importing coconut from other countries or inter states is very expensive,’’ she said.
The entrepreneur stated that she learnt the skill of using coconut shell for various products during an empowerment programme in Lagos State.
“Through the empowerment programme, I have been able to craft bags, cups, key holders, necklaces as well as make coconut milk, coconut chips, coconut oil, coconut soap and also employ labour,’’ she said.
She added that coconut could also be used for cooking, hair growth, baking, for skincare and as medication.
Another entrepreneur, Miss Comfort Adedeji, said the government should not only focus on particular produce in agriculture, they should also look into the fruits aspect of agriculture.
She said that coconut business was the most underrated business in Nigeria, yet it has good prospects.
“There are a lot of benefits from coconut; no part of coconut can be said to be waste.”
“You can gain a lot of income from coconut business when you are ready to change your wealth status, adding that coconut is as relevant as crude oil,’’ she said.
Abimbola Ayomide, a baker, said coconut contained natural sugar and oil and as such was good for baking various pastries.
“I prefer using coconut oil for baking than using vegetable oil or even butter; you can never go wrong while using coconut for baking.”
“We also have coconut flour from the same fruits Nigerians neglect; the coconut flour can be used for anything,’’ she added.
Ayomide said that coconut flour could be made at home and it was very easy to use.
According to her, coconut flour has various health benefits and it is delicious.
“Coconut flour is rich in protein, fiber and healthy fats and is also free from gluten.
“This is why we are appealing to the Federal Government to make the coconut seeds available for farmers, so that it can be available and affordable. (NAN)