By Ikenna Uwadileke
The National Association of Mango Producers, Processors and Marketers of Nigeria (NAMPPMAN) has appealed to Nigerians to leverage on the economic benefits of mango to boost their income.
The National President of the association, Alhaji Abdulkadir Nasir, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Abuja.
Nasir emphasised that besides generating income to small scale farmers, mango contributes to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and export earnings of a country.
He stressed that diversification into fruit production could generate huge employment and enable small scale farmer to embark on a range of production, processing and marketing activities.
According to him, this can complement existing income generating activities.
“In Nigeria, despite structural shift toward industrialisation, agriculture still contributes 21.8 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“It is a source of livelihood of about 45 per cent of total employed labour forces and contributes significantly in the export earnings.
“The potential of mango export has, however, not been fully achieved.
“ Marketing fresh and processed fruit products generates income which can acts as an economic buffer and seasonal safety net for small scale farmers,’’ he said.
He explained that 400 stands of mango trees planted in one hectare of land can generate about N600,000 per season.
He noted that with the improved seedlings, mangoes could mature and yield fruits before three years.
Nasir, while appreciating Federal Government’s efforts to reposition agriculture, appealed for the inclusion of Mango into the Anchor Borrowers programme.
“The challenge is how government can key into the programme of the association and increase mango production in the country,’’ he said. (NAN)
•PHOTO: Mango heap