The Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN) has expressed regrets over the neglect of the cocoa sector, calling on the Federal and State Government to work towards reviving and repositioning the sector.
The newly elected National President of CFAN, Mr. Adeola Adegoke, who stated this during his inauguration in Akure, Ondo state capital, as the 4th President of the association, noted that there was a decline in the nation’s production of cocoa.
According to him, Nigeria has been relegated to seventh position from fourth position among the global cocoa producing, saying the association is ready to collaborate with government to retain the vantage position among the cocoa producing countries of the world.
“We are ready to work with the government and other relevant bodies to ensure that cocoa which is highest earner of income to the government is brought back to life.
“The case of cocoa is lamentable because Nigeria used to rank among the first five largest producers before the neglect. Nigeria’s coca production which peaked at around 400,000 tonnes a year in the 1970s now accounts for far less.”
Adegoke also called on government to help the cocoa farmers in the area of road network, lamenting that most of the roads leading to cocoa farms “are nothing to wrote home about”
“We usually encounter serious challenge in transporting our cocoa from the farm to town because of the bad road network. We want to call on government at level to help in the construction of road and this will go a long way to help in the production of cocoa”
He assured that the new executive of CFAN would soon establish a data base of all the cocoa farmers to provide adequate and accurate information on cocoa farmers which will assist government, NGO and research institute on cocoa production.
He called on all the member of the new national executive to work towards the development of cocoa in the country.