Home Finance 246,000 hectares of cocoa farms for rehabilitation— Adesina

246,000 hectares of cocoa farms for rehabilitation— Adesina

by Business News Report

A total of 246,000 hectares of cocoa farms in all the cocoa producing areas in Nigeria has been set aside for rehabilitation by the Federal Government. The government it was learnt has mapped out strategies to commence the rehabilitation. Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, disclosed this in Abuja during a meeting with the private sector players in the implementation of Cocoa Transformation Plan (CTP).
Adesina said that the initiative was aimed at boosting cocoa production to enable Nigeria to join the league of “One Million Metric Tonne Producers Club’’. According to him the club currently comprises Cote’Divoire, Ghana and Cmeroon. Adesina noted that cocoa production in the country was currently unstable, inefficient and unprofitable, attributing this to old age of tree stocks, low yield potential, pest and disease attacks, among others. He said that the objective of the CTP was to double national output from 250,000 tonnes to 500,000 tonnes by 2015 through increased farm productivity.
“Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) has developed eight hybrid cocoa species through which the nation will surpass the 500,000 tonnes and target one million tonnes in subsequent years. Under the Agriculture Transformation Action Plan (ATAP), the cocoa sector would be adequately funded to ensure that CRIN produced improved species for farmers and support farmers in cocoa agribusiness.” The minister said in the expansion strategy, 162,460-hectare plantation would be established by 2015 in partnership with state governments and the private sector, while 3.65 million seed pods would be provided.
He said that boosting cocoa production was imperative as it is one of the selected cash crops under the ATAP. He also said that graduate cocoa agribusiness scheme would be established in collaboration with state governments. Adesina said 250 graduates would be involved in the maiden scheme in 2012 and each participant would be provided with 10 hectares of land, seed, inputs and fertiliser support.

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