How To Start A Lucrative Coconut Farming Business In Nigeria: The Complete Guide
The estimated total world production for coconuts in the year 2017 was 60,773,435 metric tonnes, which went up by 3.0% from 59,010,635 tonnes in 2016 with a projected increase by 3% yearly.
Nigeria is also not left out of these global market as it grows coconut on over 10,000 hectares of land in the country with the potential to generate over $1 billion dollars a year in coconut exports from the country.
While there is great prospect in coconut farming in Nigeria and many other parts of the world, coconut farming has remained a grossly untapped agricultural resource.
Interestingly Nigeria generates more than $2.5 million on returns of investment in coconut farming, but they are still way behind their production abilities.
With the growing global demand for coconut oil, water, and other by-products, Nigeria is losing potentially over $1 billion yearly from the untapped coconut farming industry.
If you’re looking for an agricultural business to venture into in Nigeria, Africa, and many other parts of the world, Coconut farming in Nigeria is a great place to start.
What Are Coconuts?
Coconuts, also is known as Cocos nucifera, is a member of the palm tree family (Arecaceae) and the only known living species of the genus Cocos. The term “coconut” can refer to the whole coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which botanically is a drupe.
What is Coconut Farming?
Coconut farming is the complete process of Coconut cultivation for both local consumption, commercial uses, and exportation.
Business Opportunities in Coconut Farming
1). Cosmetic Production:
Coconuts serve as a moisturizer and is used in the production of both body and hair creams.
2). Production Of Oil:
Coconut produces oil, which serves various uses and is very healthy for cooking meals.
3). First Aid:
Coconut oil serves as first aid for bruises and minor burns
4). Production of Non-Dairy Milk:
Coconut produces a healthier substitute for dairy milk.
Facts And Benefits Of Coconuts
- Coconut water on average contains 94% water with around 46 calories a cup
- A coconut tree can have up to 180 coconuts harvested during a single harvest
- The coconut tree can grow up to 82 feet (25 meters) high.
- Coconut grenades were a weapon used in World War 2 by the Japanese
- On average, three and a half cups of coconut equates to 1 tbsp (25 grams) of Fiber
- In 2016 there were over 59 million tons of coconuts produced worldwide
- In the early stages of a coconut’s growth, it contains high levels of water which can be consumed directly as a refreshing drink
- The largest producers of coconuts are Indonesia, the Philippines, and India.
- Coconuts help blood sugar control
- Coconuts contain antioxidant
- Coconuts Help You Lose Weight
- Coconut oil helps maintain a healthy heart
- Coconuts help reduce cholesterol
- Coconut water can be used as a healthy beverage
Types of Product Coconuts
There are about 10 common types of coconuts which are:
- West Coast Tall Coconut
- East Coast Tall Coconut
- Mayan Coconut
- Tiptur Tall Coconut
- Orange Dwarf Coconut
- Green Dwarf Coconut
- Malayan Yellow Dwarf Coconut
- Fiji Dwarf Coco King Coconut
- VHC1 Coconut
- Macapuno Coconut
How To Start Coconut Farming In Nigeria: Step By Step Guide
1). Farmland Selection And Preparation:
Choosing the right farmland is key as the ideal soil conditions that ensure proper growth and performance for coconut palms are well-drained soil between 50-100cm in-depth and good water holding capacity.
Then make sure that the selected farmland is properly cleared. The soil must be ploughed, and all stumps in your farm removed to ensure adequate drainage.
2). Planting The Coconut:
Coconut planting should be done at the onset of the rainy season, but the growing of coconut seedlings should first be done in the nursery.
The coconut seedlings should be between 8-10 months old before transplanting them to the permanent coconut plantation farmland.
3). Harvesting Your Coconut:
When using genetically improved coconut seedlings, you should start harvesting from the fourth year of planting. Matured nuts are harvested immediately you notice one of the nuts is drying up. Mature nuts are also easy to identify by the brown colouration of their epicarp.
You should know that there are two major methods of harvesting coconut. which are:
a). The Climbing Method:
Here, harvesting the coconuts is done by climbing the tree with the help of a rope around the feet or ankles of the climber or by using a ladder. When the climber reaches the top, he or she taps the nut in the lowermost bunch with its harvesting knife to test its maturity. If okay, he or she cuts the bunch at the base of the stalk when it drops down to the ground.
b). The Pole Method:
Here, harvesting is done by cutting the bunches with a knife, attached to a long bamboo pole.
Challenges Of Coconut Farming In Nigeria
Some of the challenges of coconut farming in Nigeria include:
- It can be difficult and time-consuming
- Lack of access to good-quality seeds
- Pest and Diseases
- Lack of adequate knowledge and technology
- Lack of adequate farmland to allow crop rotation
- Poor funding of research activities
- Pest and diseases
- Bush burning
- Lack of highly efficient storage facilities for the unprocessed nuts
- Lack of capital for large scale production
- Lack of easy access to the international market by most farmers in Nigeria
- Instability of the international market price of Wheat
- Lack of adequate government assistance
- Lack of adequate widespread knowledge on how to produce high-quality In Nigeria
- Lack of funds to import international standard processing machinery into Nigeria
- Thieves and criminals
- Importation of the crop
- Lack of highly efficient storage facilities
- Lack of availability of high breed seedling
To Sum It Up
Coconut farming in Nigeria is a largely untapped opportunity for new and existing agropreneurs to take advantage of.
If you’re looking to start an agro-business, coconut farming in Nigeria can be a great place to start.
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