April 14, 2024

We need support for Nigeria to overtake Ivory-coast, Ghana – Small holder cocoa farmers

Yobe farmers charge govt. on a ready market

By Jimoh Babatunde

National President, Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria, CFAN, Comrade Adeola Adegoke, has said that Nigeria’s vision of doubling whatever premium cocoa beans Ivory-coast and Ghana are jointly producing is achievable before 2026.

Adegoke said all that is needed is for smallholder farmers to be supported by cocoa producing State governments to irrigate cocoa farms all year round.

He said, “I think that if our smallholder cocoa farmers can partner and be supported by cocoa producing State governments to irrigate our cocoa farms all year round in all the cocoa-producing states, Nigeria’s vision of doubling whatever premium cocoa beans Ivory Coast and Ghana are jointly producing achievable before 2026.”

Adegoke added, “Nigeria is endowed with land, youth population, research resources, good soil, varieties, aroma, capacity and private sector player’s resilience.”

Meanwhile, members of the National Cocoa Management Committee, inaugurated by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security have called for the establishment of the National Cocoa Board.

Rising from its meeting in Akure, Ondo State capital recently, the body noted that the National Cocoa Board is essential, and its establishment will further improve cocoa production in Nigeria.

The members at the meeting also discussed the need to mitigate the impending European Union Regulation Compliance on Deforestation, EUDR, threats to the Cocoa sector in Nigeria and how to guarantee a robust and transparent cocoa sector.

The EU Deforestation Regulation, which will come into force on December 30, 2024, is to help the European Union and partner countries to develop deforestation-free supply chains for commodities such as cocoa.

It is also to ensure that products coca suppliers place on the market do not cause deforestation, the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) requires companies to conduct due diligence. Companies must collect evidence that the product is traceable, deforestation-free, and legal.

Under a benchmarking process, cocoa-producing countries or regions will be categorised according to the extent and risk of deforestation.

Companies that supply cocoa from high-risk areas will be required to complete more due diligence steps than those that buy from low-risk areas