Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday disclosed that Nigeria could be the largest producer of the Avocado crop by 2030 with the enthusiasm of the country’s farmers. Obasanjo made this disclosure when the Avocado Society of Nigeria (ASN) paid him a courtesy visit at his Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) Pent House residence in Abeokuta.
The former President, who was conferred with the ASN Grand Patron award, said the country possessed all qualities needed to take over the East African countries in avocado crop planting.
In a release by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, the former President who was responding to question on the prospects of the crop by 2030 says “I want to see Nigeria becoming one of, if not the leading avocado producer in Africa.”
Obasanjo had earlier explained that “Avocado is a unique crop and very lucrative business which can be done as either a business or a hobby, from having a plantation, or just a few trees in one’s compound.
“I am happy to be a member of this association. I hope more people will appreciate the value of the avocado business and join us either as a hobby or as a business.
“Avocado is a very healthy fruit with numerous benefits. The oil as well as the pulp from it is used in the cosmetic industry, pharmaceutical companies, and therapeutic activities. I will say a bit of avocado every day keeps the doctor away,” Obasanjo said.
He thanked the leadership of the Society, assuring them of his total commitment as the grand patron, even as he restated that the crop could replace oil in the country.
“Those of us who have been privileged to know about avocado production must not hold the information to ourselves. In my simple opinion, this is the new oil of Nigeria, if it is effectively tapped into,” Obasanjo noted.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Avocado Society, Amb Sola Bunmi Adeniyi, extolled the efforts of the former President at promoting agriculture in Nigeria and Africa at large, stressing, “such virtue is a rare one.
“If at this old age and considering his affluence, he still does not underemphasize the importance of taking opportunities, I think he is passing a great message to all Nigerians, regardless of class. Adeniyi added that “the multi-million naira investment in Avocado by the Grand Patron clearly shows that he is an unrepentant lover and advocate of Agriculture. You heard him saying the potentials of this crop in the next decade, therefore, avocado production must be tapped into by all.
“Baba is the Society’s grand patron because we believe in his capacity and we want him to lead this awareness for the good of our nation and the prosperity of our people,” the Chief Executive Officer stated.