Ekiti State Government would partner with Federal Government in reviving Cocoa production in the state.
The Ekiti State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr. Babajide Arowosafe made this known while playing host to the Cocoa Value Chain Development delegation from Abuja in his office in Ado-Ekiti.
The Commissioner who said efforts are on to regain the lost glory of Ekiti in Cocoa Production promised to revive old cocoa plantations and make Ekiti State a world leader in cocoa production.
Mr. Arowosafe said very soon, the Ekiti State government would engage about 500 youths that would work in cocoa and oil palm plantations across the state. He explained that the rationale behind the engagement of 500 youths was to ensure continuity and sustainability in the life of cocoa farmers.
The Commissioner who promised cocoa farmers hybrid seedlings said this was necessary to replace the ageing cocoa plantations in the state.
He said the state government was currently discussing with a cocoa processor who is ready to locate a cocoa processing machine in the state.
This he said would create employment and increase the Internally Generated Revenue of the state.
The Commissioner appealed to the cocoa farmers to see cocoa farming as lifelong commercial business and not just a stepping stone that could be dropped in future.
He said Ekiti as one of the twenty four cocoa producing states in Nigeria has a high quality and high yielding produce.
In his address the leader of the Cocoa Value Chain Development Delegation from Abuja, Dr. Peter Aikpokpodion commended Ekiti State Government for blazing the trail in Agriculture transformation.
Dr. Aikpokpodion said Ekiti was the first state to put up a committee on Agriculture transformation in Nigeria.
He said the Federal Government is planning to support Ekiti State Government in the cocoa transformation and raise revenue generated from cocoa from 50% to 65%.
Dr. Aikopokpodion said Ekiti as a veritable producer of cocoa would be assisted through the use of inputs to double the cocoa volume, value and production in the state, saying the Health and Nutritional value of cocoa cannot be over emphasized.
The said, Ekiti State was very strategic in cocoa production because, cocoa is produced in all the sixteen local government areas of the state.
He promised Ekiti State 85,750 hydrids pods of cocoa, 1000 metric tons of fertilizer and 2,340 litres of fungicides the 2012 planting season adding that two community gardens would be put in place and plans were on to move the one from Eyio to Igirigiri in Ado-Ekiti.
Last modified: March 12, 2012