By Dayo Johnson, Akure
COCOA farmers across the country have predicted low production this year if the federal government failed to address the issue of “sub-standard and fake inputs” allegedly procured for them last year.
Speaking under the auspices of Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN), they lamented that the alleged fake inputs procured by some people contracted by government was responsible for the low production of cocoa last year.
National President of CFAN, Chief Raimi Adeniji, disclosed this in Akure.
Adeniji asked President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, to urgently look into the matter for the betterment and improvement of cocoa production in 2018.
He alleged that, in 2017, the suppliers of the cocoa inputs supplied “unwanted, fake and substandard inputs”, which, according to him, “contributed to the low production of cocoa we are witnessing today in the country.”
“This has distorted the flowering and untimely ripening of the cocoa pods and may result into further declining of Nigeria cocoa beans production in the year 2018/2019 if the procurement of cocoa inputs by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture is not reviewed”, the CFAN boss said.