Cross River Move to Revamp Cocoa Estates, to Transplant 10m Seedlings

Cross River state is set to kick-off the transplanting of 10 million cocoa seedlings to rejig its moribund cocoa estates.

The state government on Monday flagged off the exercise in Bendeghe, a community in Etung Local Government Area.

Deputy governor of the state, Prof. Ivara Esu who led the exercise stated that the government was keen on reviving its cocoa industry.

AgroNigeria had earlier reported that state government had signed a $15m agreement with an Israeli agri-firm, Ben & Co Global Ltd, to develop its Cocoa City Project. According to Esu, the “government had taken giant strides aimed at boosting cocoa production in the state” “It is our hope that revamping of the estates will increase the Gross Domestic Product GDP of the state” Esu added.

On his part, Special Adviser to the Governor on Cocoa Development and Control, Dr. Oscar Ofuka, explained that the government’s target was to produce about 500,000 tonnes of cocoa per annum He revealed that the plan was to feed the ultra-modern cocoa processing factory at Ikom, which would soon be inaugurated.

“We have the potential and the capacity to becoming the cocoa hub of Africa by surpassing Cote D’Ivoire, which is the leading cocoa exporting country in Africa,” he said

Ofuka further added that the transplant of improved cocoa seedlings was long overdue since the establishment of the cocoa plantations by the late Dr. Micheal Okpara’s administration in the ’60s.

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