Wednesday, 17 July 2024.

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Future Of Cocoa In Nigeria Belongs To Cross River – CFAN President

By Chris Njoku

Mr Adeola Adegoke, National President of Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN) has disclosed that the future of the cocoa in Nigeria belonged to Cross River.

Adegoke made the remark on Friday in Calabar during the Inauguration and oath-taking ceremony of Cross River’s Executive Committee of CFAN.

He said although Ondo was presently known to be the largest producer of the crop in Nigeria, the average age of a cocoa farmer in Ondo was between 55 and 60 which was an ageing population.

According to him, Cross River has the potential in massive land and forest for cocoa farming and the youthful population cultivating the crop in the state.

He however noted that though these potentials were there, the state had to tap into them to succeed because cocoa alone could run Cross River’s economy effectively if the state seriously tapped into its potential.

“Enough of talking about cocoa estates established by the old Eastern Region, we need to start establishing new estates; we want to see nothing less than 1000 hectares of new cocoa estates established by the state.

“Enough of export of raw cocoa beans, we need to start adding value and coming up with cocoa wines, biscuits sweets, and soap that we can consume and export because we cannot prosper by just exporting raw cocoa beans.

“While it is important for the state government to be deliberate in infrastructural development in cocoa farming communities, there is need for extension services through innovation,” he said.

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He urged members to repay the loans they collected from the government and also pay their annual dues to the association, adding that in 2024 the Third Cocoa Festival would be held in Calabar.

On his part, Governor Bassey Otu who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Anthony Owan-Enoh said the state would do all within its power to ensure that cocoa farmers get the necessary inputs and resources they need.

According to him, Cross River has been shortchanged for so long because the state produces cocoa, others come to the state to buy their cocoa but at the end of the day, it is not counted for Cross River as the origin state.

“Going forward, Cross River will produce sell and export because we have the capacity and the farmers will get the maximum yield for their investments.

“I will have a private meeting with the newly inaugurated chairman of CFAN in the state where he will table the concerns of the farmers, so we can chart a new course for the sector,” he added.

Similarly, Dr Ramsey Tiku, the newly inaugurated Chairman of CFAN in Cross River said cocoa remained the mainstay of the state noting that if cocoa development was relegated the state was relegating the development of its people.

He said as the state chairman he was going to be partnering with different groups and ministries while creating an action plan to add value to the cocoa produced in the state.

He thanked his members for the confidence reposed in him adding that they need to start looking at the regeneration of cocoa estates in the state and acquiring data of farmers.

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Christian Njoku
Christian Njoku
Christian Njoku is a journalist with an eye for stories that foster growth and development. His wealth of experience cannot be compared to any other as he is always on top of stories that bring about positive change in society.

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