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Soludo Launches Ambitious 1 Million Coconut, Palm Trees Revolution Initiative in Anambra



Governor Prof. Chukwuma Soludo on Wednesday launched an ambitious coconut and palm trees economy project in Anambra state. Soludo launched the initiative with a symbolic distribution and planting of coconut and palm trees during the flag-off of Anambra State 2022 farming season at the Dr. Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka.

According to the governor, the palm and coconut tree revolution which will see the state planting about 1 million of hybrid coconut and palm trees respectively for the next five years was designed to make the state a major exporter of the coconut produce and palm produce as well as make agriculture the bedrock of industrialization of Anambra state.

Soludo stressed that with the crude oil revenue virtually drying up, his administration had decided to go back to agriculture and make it the linchpin of the state economy. “The truth remains that the revenue from the crude oil is drying up. Last month, not even a kobo from oil proceeds came into the Anambra state coffers.

We are selling oil but it’s no longer enough to pay for petroleum subsidies. Now that crude oil has ceased to be the mainstay of our economy, it’s time for us to return to the basis, which is agriculture. That is why we are launching the coconut economy in the state.

“We are also trying to re-enact the palm revolution. You will recall that the palm revolution built the former Eastern region of Nigeria. When we discovered crude oil, we abandoned palm oil and now that crude oil is out, we have to go back. We are going into technology, industrialization, leisure, entertainment but the traditional economy is not yet out. We have to maximize our potentials from the traditional economy, and that is agriculture.

The governor adds that efforts were in top gear to distribute the two economic trees to communities, schools, churches, corporate entities and individuals with land to cultivate them on a partnership basis. According to him, hundreds of thousands of coconut and palm trees will be distributed for planting this year as part of the one million tree planting initiative that will be replicated every year.

“We will order for next year early enough and distribute them early for planting. We expect the coconut trees to start fruiting every three-four years. So, in the next four years, we will start harvesting the ones we have planted this year and the ones to be planted next year will be ready for harvest in the next four to five years. And the agro-allied industries that will be processing them will begin to emerge. Then, Anambra will become a net exporter of palm produce and coconut produce.

He described the coconut and palm tree revolution as the surest way to pull many residents of the state out of poverty. “If you plant about 10, 20 or 30 coconut trees, especially the new hybrid variety that we have imported in the state, your household or family will never be poor again. That is what we are launching today. Our estimate is that if we continue planting 1 million coconut trees for the next ten years, Anambra state will be earning hundreds of million if not billion dollars’ worth of export from this commodity every year. That will be part of the new economy we are talking about.

The former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), further disclosed that his administration would support the federal government’s drive for diversification of resources of foreign exchange through agriculture. “Agriculture comes readily with little effort. It’s the low hanging fruits. And palm and coconut will be the game changer if Nigeria embraces it. Nigeria will have to embrace it beginning from Anambra state. That is why we are launching it today. It will be a game changer in terms of diversification of foreign exchange.

Highpoints of the occasion was the presentation of coconut and palm trees to some traditional rulers and President General of Town Unions present as well as formal planting of the trees at Ekwueme Square by Governor Soludo.

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