Governor Adeleke Unveils Osun Cocoa Revival Agenda

Governor Adeleke Unveils Osun Cocoa Revival Agenda

Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State has unveiled a comprehensive Cocoa revival agenda of his administration as a major contributor to boosting agricultural production in the state. 

Speaking as a guest speaker at the International Cocoa Conference in Lagos, Governor Adeleke who was represented by the Osun State Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security described the importance of cocoa to the diversification of Nigerian economy and recalled how Chief Obafemi Awolowo developed the old western region with earnings from cocoa production.

“As oil is the backbone of the Nigerian economy today, so was cocoa to old Western Nigeria. The late sage, Premier of old Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo deployed earnings from cocoa to develop the region, building the 25 story Cocoa House, investing in durable infrastructures, pioneering television broadcast in Africa and investing in education and health services.

“When you travel across the South West, you will see many old story buildings of various designs. Those are the houses of many prosperous traders who thrived across the zones in those days. Booming cocoa economy was the foundation of the robust economy of the old western region.” Governor Adeleke noted.

Unveiling the comprehensive agenda of his administration to revitalize cocoa production in the state, Governor Adeleke emphasized that cocoa producing states have a direct challenge and obligation to introduce new innovations that will help to revive the sector and increase productivity level of cocoa farmers.

“As a starting point, it is my considered view that Nigeria especially cocoa producing states have a direct challenge and obligation to introduce innovations towards reviving the cocoa sector; to set targets to increase tonnes of cocoa they presently produce; to support cocoa farmers and ensure that young farmers enter the sub-sector and to collaborate with research institutions such as the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) for new cocoa breed etc.”

The Governor proceeded to list the following agenda his administration is implementing to revive cocoa production and enhance the revenue base of the state.

“As a Governor, my agenda includes but not limited to the following, namely:

●  To revive the sector holistically;

●  Assemble stakeholders to design an updated revival plan;

● Get the cocoa industry in my town running again;

● Put life back into the cocoa farming sub-sector through demonstration of political will;

●  Get more investors into the value chain through ease of doing business;

●  Set up a domestic export terminal in Osun state to ease export process and access to international market;

● Partner with the railway corporation for easy of transport;

● Upgrade local infrastructures for farming community;

● Set up a modified commodity boards to strengthen stakeholders’ finance;

● Develop partnership with financial institutions to support the cocoa farming community;

● Develop relationship with the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) for agric tech and innovations; and

● An invitation to the Cocoa Research Institute for partnership and collaboration engagement.

In his effort to push the state to the top state in the community of cocoa producing states, Governor Adeleke disclosed that his administration is focused on doubling down on the implementation of the cocoa agenda by focussing on the following:

● A directive to the state Ministry of Agriculture to  establish high yielding cocoa nurseries across the local governments in the state. This is to be implemented in partnership with the local government leadership;

●  An action plan for the  rehabilitation of  old cocoa plantations in term of facilities and re-plantation;

●  The  opening up new cocoa estates with young farmers;

●. The introduction of  a deliberate programme to protect cocoa farms from destructive activities of miners and mining activities;

● A plan to resuscitate the State owned cocoa processing industry at Ede for value chain addition;

● The adoption of  the cocoa revival plan as part of our climate agenda. Reforestation through cocoa plantation is high on the table.

● Ongoing plan to establish cottage cocoa factories across the state Under an industry cluster agenda, our administration is targeting such cottage factories to increase cocoa processing and development of the value chain industry.

Emphasizing the need to revitalize cocoa production in the country, Governor Adeleke concluded by calling on the federal government to “declare an emergency in the cocoa sector by offering direct federal interventions in term financing for cocoa producing states; support creation of state marketing boards to fast track the re-development of the cocoa sector at state level; and empower the Ministry of Agriculture to support cocoa producing states through a World Bank project focussing on cocoa revival across the cocoa producing states.”

 

Signed;

Mallam Olawale Rasheed

Spokesperson to the Executive Governor

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