From: AgroNature Admin
COCONUT trees may soon go into extinction in Lagos State if residents failed to desist from cutting the trees without replanting, Dr Olayiwole Onasanya, Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Agriculture, has warned.
According to Onasanya, the Lagos State may end up seeing Coconut trees in the calendar in the next 50 years.
He disclosed this at the event organised by the African Coconut Heritage Initiatives in Badagry, Lagos.
Coconut, no doubt, holds a major significance for the people and residents of Badagry, a coastal town in the Badagry Local Government Area of Lagos State.
Besides, once being a money-spinner for people of this community, edged in between Lagos and Seme Border, the Benin Republic, history has it that the community’s affinity with the fruit dates back to 1845.
This was when the first set of white men established the first coconut plantation in the town.
For years, the fruit has been synonymous with the community since it enhances both its cultural heritage and the people’s economy.
Onasanya, represented by Mr Dapo Olakulehin, the General Manager, Lagos State Coconut Development Authority, said that Marina was full of coconut trees in 1960 and 70s, “but now, there is no coconut tree in that place again’’.
“So, if we don’t want anything like that to happen, we must rise up and start planting coconut tree now.
“People are cutting the trees, fine; I won’t say they should not, because if a Coconut tree is not producing up to 100 nuts in a year, this means it has outgrown its usefulness, they can cut it.
“What we are saying is that if you cut one plant one back. If some people did not plant the one that you cut, you cannot get the one you are cutting.
“So, plant another one for the generation that will come,” he said.
Onasanya said that the tree was the symbol of the state, saying though, the country was blessed with the tree, but they were not taking advantage of the coconut tree.
“We have more coconut trees in Badagry than Sri Lanka, but we are not making use of them.
“We are destroying the trees which are supporting economies of other countries in the world,” he said.
Onasanya said the benefits of Coconut tree include health, economic and environment, advising people to cultivate the habit of planting another tree.