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Thursday, December 8, 2022

PIND, CRIN to certify cocoa seed entrepreneurs

By Fatima Muraina

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A total of 14 Cocoa seed Entrepreneurs in the Niger Delta region would soon be certified and licensed to boost access to quality seeds.

The certification and licensing would be given by the Foundation for Initiative in the Niger Delta (PIND) and the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN).

According to a statement made available to The Hope by Communications Coordinator at PIND, Onyinye Muomah, hinted, that the certificate issuance will hold on November 8, 2022, at CRIN’s headquarters in Ibadan, Oyo State.

The statement stated that, in 2021, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by PIND and CRIN to strengthen the market system for producing quality seeds in the cocoa sector.

The MoU was part of PIND’s strategies to improve access to improved seedlings for cocoa farmers in the Niger Delta region under its access to cocoa seeds intervention.

It outlined a series of activities that will dovetail into licensing/certification of trained seed entrepreneurs who would have a commercial relationship with CRIN to produce and distribute quality, high-yielding cocoa seedlings to farmers.

“As a result of the partnership, 31 seed entrepreneurs participated in a training on best nursery management practices in 2021.

“Following the training, PIND supported 14 seed entrepreneurs to establish seed nurseries and produced over 100,000 seedlings supplied commercially to farmers across the region.

In 2022, PIND and CRIN conducted a joint monitoring/evaluation of the nursery operators to review their performance and adherence to the standards and to certify and license them as third-party seedling producers and distributors, thereby improving the distribution network of quality, certified CRIN seeds/seedlings.

At an average of 280,000 metric tons production, cocoa accounted for USD 804 million in foreign exchange for Nigeria in 2020.

“However, the yield of Cocoa has continued to be low at an average of 400kg per hectare compared to over 800kg per hectare obtainable with improved, high-yielding under good agricultural practices.

” The low yields and productivity experienced by farmers are a combination of factors, including aging trees and farms, limited access to high-yielding varieties, and use of predominantly older types of cocoa, among other factors.

It further added, that in 2010, CRIN released eight new, improved varieties known as TC 1-8. These varieties, under good agricultural practices by farmers, have the potential to produce 1.5 tons/ha and above annually.

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