The Executive Director, Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, CRIN, Dr Patrick Adebola says, farmers in Nigeria must embrace modern methods of cultivation to make their Cocoa beans competitive in the international market.

He stated this in Osogbo, during a day training organised for selected farmers in Osun State in collaboration with the Nigeria Export Promotion Council, NEPC on Best Agricultural practices and safe use of pesticides on Cocoa.

Represented by the Director of Training, CRIN, Dr Sunday Agbeniyi, the Executive Director said, it was imperative to train Nigeria farmers and support them to be abreast with modern methods of nursing, growing and harvesting their Cocoa to make the products competitive in the international markets and add more value to them.

Dr Adebola expressed concern over the low value attached to Nigeria’s commodity by European traders, blaming it on the wrong application of pesticides on their far.

He said the challenges of climate change and its impact on farming also underscored the need to build the capacity of farmers to respond to emergencies so as to mitigate the effect of the inevitable natural development.

The CRIN Chief executive officer lamented that Nigerian cocoa farmers and exporters had been exempted from premiums that their counterparts from Ghana and Cote’divore enjoyed.

In a remark, the Executive Director of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council, NERC, Dr Ezra Yakusouk said government was working assiduously to make agricultural products serve as viable alternatives to crude Oil.

Dr Yakusouk who was represented by Trade Promotion Advisor of the NEPC in Osun State, Mr Benson Hussein said government was concerned about the competitiveness of Cocoa because of its Strategic position among the various crops.

The NEPC boss added that apart from quality farmers would be exposed to hybrid seedlings and methodology that would increase their yield.

Declaring the training open, the Osun state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Adedayo Adewole said the training for farmers in the State was timely given the comparative advantage the state had in the area of cocoa farming.

Represented by the Director of produce, Mr Oluwafunminiyi Adegbite, the Agric Commissioner said Cocoa cultivation was the number one priority on the Agriculture agenda of government, adding that farmers are being supported with improved seedlings and pesticides.

In an interview with, the Chairman of the Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria, CFAN, Osun State chapter, Alhaji Raji Musa said more than government policies and fund, poor knowledge remained the major challenge of the Cocoa value chain in Nigeria.

Alhaji Musa canvassed that such training must not be one of,but a consistent programme done for farmers across their various locations if Nigeria was to go back to the days that cocoa was one of the mainstay of the economy.

Other participating farmers commended CRIN and NEPC for the free training and called for consolidation of same.

Adenitan Akinola


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