The Cocoa Exporters Association of Nigeria has commended the Federal Government for repositioning and reviving the nation’s cocoa industry.
The association also lauded the Federal Government for its vision of making Nigeria to become the world’s largest cocoa producer by inaugurating the Cocoa Relaunch Committee headed by Dr. Olayiwola Oluwole.
The Secretary-General of the association, Mr. Kayode Babade, who spoke with our correspondent in Akure, the Ondo State capital, urged the government to synergise with the private sector towards developing the cocoa industry in Nigeria.
According to him, the country can become the world’s largest producer of cocoa again through the latest initiative and the involvement of farmers and exporters of the produce.
He said, “We are of the opinion that Nigeria has all it takes to take over the leadership position in cocoa production in the world if farmers and exporters are encouraged adequately by the government.
“We observed that Nigeria used to be a top player in world cocoa production in the 1960s and 1970s in terms of quality and quantity; but today, Nigeria is number seven in the world ranking and this is unacceptable”
As a major stakeholders in the cocoa value chain, Babade said the group was ready to support the Federal Government’s initiative in order to move the country forward in the production of cocoa.
“We will be willing to make our contribution towards this noble ambition of the Federal Government to ensure that Nigeria’s production of cocoa improves tremendously like Ivory Coast and Ghana,” he added.
He noted that the association had in the past contributed to the development of cocoa in the country by providing loans and herbicides to farmers to enable them increase production.
“We look forward to the cocoa relaunch campaign coming up in Ondo State in March this year,” he stated.