Lagos moves to convert coconut wastes to wealth

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***to train 450 young entrepreneurs

By Bamidele Fashube, Abuja

The Lagos State government says it has concluded plans to harness the wealth embedded in the use of coconut wastes.

This was even as it disclosed plans to train about 450 young entrepreneurs for a period of five weeks on the use of coconut waste in arts and craft under its ‘Waste to Wealth’ Initiative.

Ms. Abisola Olusanya,the State’s Acting Commissioner for Agriculture,made the disclosure in a statement issued in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria.

According to her, the Initiative was in line with the state government’s developmental T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda of making Lagos a 21st Century Economy as well as contributing to the tourism potentials of the state.

She explained that waste management is an outstanding global challenge but noted that finding innovative solutions for effective management of waste remained difficult as the breakdown of waste required special processes that involved time, energy and expense.

She said coconuts have the potential to produce electricity, heat, fiberboards, organic fertilizer, animal feeds, fuel additives for cleaner emissions, eco-friendly cutlery, health drinks, and many more, but noted that most people saw coconut shells as waste and as such disposed carelessly while others in the rural areas used them as firewood.

Olusanya explained that coconut shells could be recycled into artistic products such as pieces of jewellery, cutlery, indoor and outdoor decorative items, among others.

In view of this, she said the Lagos State Coconut Development Authority (LASCODA) would commence the said training from Monday, July 13, 2020.

According to Olusanya, the training would hold in five batches of 5 days each, with 18 trainees per batch, beginning from Monday, 13th July 2020 to 14th August 2020 where participants would be taught how to make various artistic items and practicals, marketing and credit acquisition.

“The Lagos State government through Lagos State Coconut Development Authority, LASCODA, is commencing a five-week training on the use of coconut waste in arts and craft. It is a waste to wealth initiative in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda of the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led administration.

“The coconut tree, also known as the tree of life, is said to have no single part of it wasted. This training puts this fact to use, while also empowering the participants so that they can begin to immediately earn a living from skills they would be taught,” she asserted.

“Coconut is abundant in our country Nigeria and consumed by most people but we are not aware of its great potential of creating wealth.

“The coconut shells which most people see as waste and dispose of them improperly can be recycled into artistic products. This also helps in sustaining the environment,” she added.

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