The Lagos State Government in collaboration with the African Coconut Heritage Initiatives is set to host the 7th edition of the Coconut Heritage Festival tagged ‘AGUNKEFEST’ in commemoration of the 2018 World Coconut Day as listed in the State’s calendar of cultural events released earlier in the year. The event is scheduled to hold on Sunday, 2nd September 2018 at the Suntan Beach Front, Badagry.
In a press release signed on Thursday by the Special Adviser to the state Governor on Arts & Culture, Mrs Aramide Giwanson, the objective of the celebration is to provide an avenue by the Lagos State Government to create awareness on the array of invaluable economic, health and environmental benefits that coconut offers amidst cultural manifestation.
In addition, the festival intends to draw global attention and beam searchlight on Badagry division of the state thereby showcasing its rich cultural and traditional values to attract both domestic and international tourists to the division.
According to the Special Adviser, the celebration is in line with the state government commitment to develop every division of the state as well as showcase its cultural and economic potentials.
Activities lined-up to celebrate the one-day programme will start with a symposium in the morning on the theme of the celebration, ‘Harnessing Coconut Production for Economic Empowerment and Tourism Development in Lagos State’ which will be delivered by an authority in the coconut industry, Dr. Charles Aisagbonhi, the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Institute of Oil Palm Research Benin, Edo State. This will be followed up with a grand finale ceremony, where all stakeholders in the industry and coconut value chain will exhibit their products, and the day’s event will be rounded up with cultural displays and entertainment amongst different communities in the 57 local governments and Local Council development areas.
It is noteworthy to state that the festival, which made its debut in 2009, is meant to annually celebrate coconut in reminiscence of the first coconut plantation in Nigeria established by the Roman Catholic Mission on the Topo Island in Badagry in 1876.