Ekiti govt. urges cocoa farmers to partake in cocoa policy formulation

Ekiti govt. urges cocoa farmers to partake in cocoa policy formulation

By Opeyemi Aremu-Gbemiro, Ado-Ekiti.

 

 

The Ekiti State Government has advised cocoa farmers to participate actively in policy formulation to upgrade cocoa farming in the state.

 

Mr. Ebenezer Boluwade, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture and Food Security, gave the charge at a meeting with some cocoa farmers groups and other stakeholders in Ado- Ekiti on Sunday.

 

Boluwade said that the active participation of the groups in government policy formulation would facilitate the development of the cocoa value chain in Nigeria as well as Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire.

 

He said that the state government’s reserves could be used for the planting of modern seedlings and irrigation farming during the dry season.

 

Mrs Tayo Adeola, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Trade and Investments, who affirmed that Ekiti State was one of the highest producers of cocoa in the South West geopolitical zone, however, noted that the narrative had somewhat changed, hence the need to revive the cocoa sector to create wealth.

 

Earlier, Mr Adebola Alagbada, Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), who spoke on behalf of cocoa farmers and stakeholders, listed some challenges facing cocoa farming in the state.

 

He said that the challenges included climate change, indiscriminate bush burning, urbanisation and the land tenure system.

 

Alagbada said that government policies, old cocoa trees stock, shortage of staff in the Tree Crops and Produce Departments, pest and diseases were also part of the challenges.

 

He said that solutions to some of the issues included increased government support to cocoa farmers, irrigation facilities, timely intervention, distribution of improved cocoa seedlings and agro chemicals.

 

Representatives of Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN), All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) and Cocoa Growers Association of Nigeria (COGAN) attended the meeting.

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