By Fatima Muraina
Cocoa farmers in Nigeria have declared their readiness to surpass Ivory Coast and Ghana on sustainable cocoa production chain by 2025.
They reiterated the position of the Eu’s preparation to ban unsustainable cocoa beans from entering the international market in the year 2025.
The statement signed by the National President of Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria , CFAN , Comrade Adeola Adegoke added that the development would also be effected with the collaborative efforts of stakeholders, United state government , Nigeria and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Cocoa Board Resuscitation policy.
“There is no ambiguity in the desire of Nigeria to overtake Ivory Coast and Ghana on sustainable cocoa supply chain, before the EU ban on unsustainable cocoa beans set for the year 2025 from entering the international markets”
“With the US-TRACE support for Nigeria cocoa value chain through the Lutheran World Relief approved $22 million five year development programme that covers; traceability, climate smart practices, inputs support to smallholder farmers, capacity building along the value chain and exports in collaboration with the Nigerian cocoa stakeholders.”
According to him, the resuscitation of the Agricultural Boards will revive the Agricultural sector which has reinforced the determination of cocoa stakeholders to work together to change the Nigerian cocoa narrative.
He observed that the Nigeria Cocoa Board which was established in the year 1948, had recorded some growth in terms of quality, flavour, production and productivity while the total regulation and development of the industry is in line with the international standard practices.
Explaining further, he said the price stabilization policy where cocoa farmers were exploited led to the abolishment of the Board in the year 1986.
“This policy, if well implemented, will bring back the lost glory of the sector, to when Nigeria was regarded as the second highest producer of cocoa in the 60’s and early 70’s with about 490,000 MTS. ” It stated.
“Nigeria is presently fourth in cocoa production behind Ivory Coast, Ghana and Indonesia with about 2.2 million MTS, 800,000 MTS and 739,483 MTS respectively, while Nigeria with 340,000 MTS and currently targeting 500,000 MTS by the year 2024.
It accounts for 6.5 per cent share of global production, after Ivory Coast, Ghana and Indonesia [NEPC].
“Nigeria currently realizes $700 million annually from the exports of cocoa beans and cannot afford to lose guard considering her huge investments in the cocoa industry that valued close to 500 billion naira.”
Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria [CFAN] has collaborated with the cocoa stakeholders to fashion out modalities to restore the lost glory of the produce during the national summit held in Abuja last year
He said stakeholders have taken numerous actions in addressing some of the challenges militating against the sustainability of the sector as the free distribution of the GAP books has helped in conducting a regular trainings for cocoa farmers which are regularly carried out in the cocoa producing states among majority of others.