date palm fruit

By Muhammad Bello/Sokoto

The projected production of date palm in Sokoto state will hit 100,000 tonnes by 2024, according to the chairman, Association of Date Farming, Processing and Marketing of Nigeria (ADAFPAM).

Muhammed Maidoki stated this on Monday at a news briefing, to mark a three-day national conference of the association in Sokoto.

“This will generate 72,000 direct jobs, support 840,000 indirect jobs and over N150 billion revenue annually for the state alone,” Maidoki said.

According to him, the projection was about 10 per cent of the date palm output of Egypt, the world’s number one producer of dates.

The chairman said that the state government had since established the second largest date palm plantation in the country.

The national summit of the association has as its theme: The importance of Date Palm to the Nigeria Economy and the environment.

Maidoki said the plantation located in Tsamiya District of Tureta Local Government Area was only part of the pilot scheme to establish similar plantations in all the 87 districts of the state.

“Similarly, we set up a youth volunteer scheme in all our secondary schools to establish at least, one hectare of date palm orchard in each school.

“This is currently active in about 20 schools and soon to reach up to 500 schools in the state.

“This approach will prepare a generation equipped to manage all aspects of date palm value chain and hopefully, position the state as the leading hub in date palm farming, processing and marketing.

“Moreover, government has procured 40,000 improved Date palm seedlings from the Nigerian Institute of Oil Palm Research and distributed to individuals and communities in the state,” he said.

Speaking, ADAFPAM National President, Dr Hassan Dikko, said the association was established with the aim of promoting the farming, processing and marketing of date palm in Nigeria.

“Date palm plantations have been neglected for so long, and they have very great potentials of making a country economically viable.

“Many countries before now had relied on dates production as a major source of revenue. These countries have achieved development based on revenue generated from date palm.

“For us to promote the opportunity of economic growth for our country, we feel it is important to form the association,” Dikko said.