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Coconut Plantation and Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) Production in Nigeria; The Investment Opportunity.

Any nation that wants to develop must look inwards to identify areas where it has comparative advantage over other nations and seek to develop the identified areas.

Apart from hydrocarbon of which Nigeria is the sixth largest exporter of crude oil and has the second largest known deposit of natural gas in the world, Nigeria also has comparative advantage in the Agricultural sector, where varieties of crops and animals are produced and reared respectively due to favorable climatic condition, good soil structure and the fact that over 70% of the entire land mass of the country is arable, though only about 48% are presently been cultivated.

One striking aspect of the economic viable and realistic agricultural produce in Nigeria is coconut. With more than 86 countries worldwide producing this crop and a total of about 64.3 billion nuts per annum as of 2013, the demand is on the increase. Little is known about a wonder crop such as this that interest experts in the value chain of agricultural exploration for its use not only in a variety of industry, but also as every part of the coconut is virtually useful for economic value. This crop can be grown in sandy soils with immense cravings for sunlight, salinity, regular rainfall and high humidity, making the tropics and sub tropics a suitable abode for its cultivation.

Coconut needs rainfall level of between 1000 mm. to 3000 mm., 2000 ft and 70 per cent of air moisture, good draining facility, sandy soil rich in humus content, in depth of 3 mts. and soil PH from 6 to 7. The plant requires temperature from 27° Celsius to 36° and the tree needs sunlight most but day and night temperature variation at 5° Celsius.

With a spacing of 7.5 x 7.5 metres, 178 coconut palms would be planted per one hectare. The best planting season is between April and May. The harvest and fruiting strength is more 30 years.

In terms of varieties, though many varieties of coconut exist, Western Tall, Tall X Dwarf types of trees are planted for nuts and oil. Dwarf varieties like Savukot, MalaionEllo Orange and Savukot Green are planted for tender coconut. For big nuts Yazpanam trees and for more nuts Ayiram Kaichi trees are suitable. Tall hybrids and dwarf are the major varieties we have in Nigeria.

Coconut hybrids can give 250 coconuts per tree per year, leading to annual production of one to 17,000 coconuts per acre, approximately 500 million of water while it gives 200 nuts per tree, which means about 3 ½ tonnes per acre and it gives about 60 per cent of oil.

In Nigeria, the leading producing states out of the 20 are Niger, Kano, Jigawa, Zamfara,Kebbi, Sokoto, Katsina, Kaduna, Adamawa, Yobe, Borno, Taraba, Plateau, Nasarawa, Bauchi, Lagos and Ogun states.

Coconut oil is widely used in the manufacturing of soaps, hair oil, cosmetics and other industrial products, its husk is a source of fibre which supports a sizable coir industry. The tender nuts supplies coconut water, a popular thirst quencher of health and hygienic benefit.

Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) may be defined as the naturally processed, chemically free and additive-free product from fresh coconut meat or its derivative (coconut milk and coconut milk residue), which has not undergone any further chemical processing after extraction. VCO is the newest, high-value coconut product very much sought after for its human, nutraceutical benefits and as a functional food. It is the purest form of coconut oil, water white in color, contains natural vitamin E and with very low free fatty acid content (even without refining) and low peroxide value.

It is produced at temperature below 100ºC. It is cholesterol and aflatoxin free and contains high amount of lauric acid and 1% fatty acid rendering the products to be shelf stable for two years.

Ideal Virgin Coconut Oil must possess the following characteristics:

a) Water white color;
b) Contain not higher than 0.1% free fatty acid;
c) Maximum of 0.1% moisture content;
d) Maximum peroxide value of 0.5 mg per kilogram of oil;
e) Lauric fatty acid content of 46-53%; and
f) 40% mg tocopherol (vitamin E) per kilogram of VCO.

The emerging major uses are as:

• a hair and skin conditioner;
• an oil base for various cosmetic and skin care products;
• a carrier oil for aromatherapy and massage oils;
• a nutraceutical and functional food

The demand for VCO is rapidly increasing in Nigeria. The fast – developing niche and high value markets for VCO as a food supplement, as a body moisturizer and a carrier oil for aromatherapy, as a hair conditioner etc. The national consumption of coconut oil is rising. Most of the supply of VCO into Nigerian market is from the Republic of Benin and Togo Republic.

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At Foraminifera Market Research (www.foramfera.com), we provide bespoke and up to date market research reports. Our reports are designed to assist start-ups to understand the legal and financial requirements of starting the business, the market trends vis-a-vis demand and supply, competition, risk identification and mitigation strategies.

You can purchase our reports on the following subject matter

VIRGIN COCONUT OIL (VCO) PRODUCTION IN NIGERIA; THE FEASIBILITY REPORT
SOY MILK PRODUCTION IN NIGERIA; THE FEASIBILITY REPORT
SOY FLOUR PRODUCTION IN NIGERIA; THE FEASIBILITY REPORT
SOYA OIL AND CAKE PRODUCTION IN NIGERIA; THE FEASIBILITY REPORT
FULL FAT SOYA PRODUCTION IN NIGERIA; THE FEASIBILITY REPORT
SOYA BEANS EXPORT IN NIGERIA; THE FEASIBILITY REPORT
SOY-DAWADAWA PRODUCTION IN NIGERIA; THE FEASIBILITY REPORT

Access our other Market Research Reports or investment opportunities in Nigeria by clicking on the link below

MARKET RESEARCH REPORTS IN NIGERIA
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