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Business News of Wednesday, 19 January 2022

Source: punchng.com

Farmers fear international rejection of Nigeria’s cocoa over low quality

Cocoa farmers working Cocoa farmers working

Cocoa farmers on Tuesday raised the alarm over the low quality of cocoa beans produced in Nigeria and expressed fears that the product might face international rejection if the identified concerns persist.

The President, Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria, Adeola Adegoke, disclosed this during the opening of CFAN Abuja office and the unveiling of the association’s Good Agricultural Practices training handbook.

He said, “We’ve raised the alarm on the low quality of our cocoa beans and the need for our nation to brace to change this narrative in order to prevent our cocoa from being rejected now and in the future or being sanctioned.

“And this is because it could lead to the blockage of other opportunities that could improve the livelihood of our cocoa farmers in Nigeria.”

Adegoke, however, stated that it was due to this concern that the association came up with the GAP handbook in collaboration with the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria and the Ecosystem-Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly Nigeria.

He said the collaboration would ensure transparency and the sustainability of Nigeria’s cocoa supply chain, taking to cognisance the protection of the environment and its biodiversity.

The CFAN president said the GAP training handbook was put together for smallholder cocoa farmers to push the country’s cocoa production from the current 250,000 metric tonnes to 500,000 metric tonnes in the next two years.

“Our focus as a nation is to surpass the production capacities of both Ivory Coast and Ghana in the next five years through sustainable cocoa production where we will have a more realistic cocoa pyramid,” he stated.

Adegoke said members of the association were willing to partner with cocoa stakeholders within and outside Nigeria on how to train smallholder farmers on sustainable cocoa production.

“The association has also decided to set up a task force on monitoring and enforcement to ensure that our smallholder cocoa farmers follow the required standards outlined in the GAP handbook, especially on the safe use and acceptable application of pesticides, among others,” he stated.

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