By Mbafan Ade –
Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN), announced that, Nigeria Cocoa Summit and Award will address some of the issues of cocoa production in Nigeria.
CFAN’s National President, Mr Adeola Adegoke made this known in Abuja.
According to Adegoke, over 95% of worldwide cocoa beans produced by smallholder farmers will not be used for commercial purposes.
He said that in the 1950s, cocoa was Nigeria’s top foreign exchange earner, with agriculture accounting for nearly 55% of the country’s GDP.
“Recent statistics reveal that, aside from crude oil, cocoa provides us with the second most foreign exchange, despite the fact that we only produce 250,000 metric tons.”
“But we are getting this wrong on the basis of our productivity, our average production of 300-350kg per hectare, whereas in Ghana and Ivory Coast the farmers get 800-1,000 kg per hectare.
“We have Ivory Coast now producing 2.5 million metric tons, we have Ghana producing about 1.5 million metric tons, and Nigeria is producing about 250,000 metric tons
“We have less than 10 per cent of commercial farmers in the cocoa farming business.
“Nigeria is adjudged to be exporting about 90 per cent of our cocoa beans.
“This shows we have a low level of processing in Nigeria and we are losing a lot of millions of dollars and thereby servicing other nation’s economies,” Adegoke explained.
He said cocoa farmers were planning the summit to address challenges in the sub-sector in order to meet up international standards and generate wealth for Nigerian farmers.
Adegoke said majority of the issues to be discussed at the summit would target smallholder cocoa farmers because they produced about 95 per cent of cocoa not only in Nigeria but globally.
“What the summit is all about is to tell us what happened to our national policy on cocoa, from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to Federal Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment.
“We have had a lot of stakeholders meetings, roadmaps to revitalize production and address challenges in the cocoa industry have been put in a policy paper,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria Cocoa Summit and Award is scheduled for Nov. 30 in Abuja.