In a bid to increase the production of cocoa and its export rate, the Executive Director of the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), Dr. Olayiwola Olubamiwa has urged the Federal Government to assist with the provision of cocoa planting materials.
The ED made the plea in Akure at a five-day capacity building workshop on cocoa production and processing for farmers, organized by the Institute in collaboration with Emraj Global Services Ltd, and with sponsorship from Senate and House of Representative committee on Agriculture.
Speaking at the programme, Olubamiwa who was duly represented by a Director at CRIN, Dr. Rasheed Adedeji revealed that the government support will aid the production of plant materials in large quantities.
He noted that the institute has come up with a proposal that will cost N150 million which will increase the production of planting materials yearly to about two million.
“Let the Federal and State governments support CRIN because we have more opportunities to tap,” he pressed.
In his words: “If the government can empower farmers through CRIN to produce planting materials in a large quantity, it will be able to satisfy our needs and serve as export”.
On his part, the Consultant with Emraj Global Services Ltd, Professor Omole Adeboye disclosed that more than 60 farmers were drawn from the South Western part of the country to participate in cocoa production and processing.
He further stated that the aim of the workshop was to make people embrace agriculture, especially cocoa production. He urged people to embrace agriculture and create job opportunities for the youths.
“We want youths to return to agriculture, especially cocoa production which have been neglected,” he said.