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CFAN seeks establishment of cocoa estates, prohibition of beans export

The national president of the Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN), Mr Adeola Adegoke, has called on stakeholders to stop the exportation of raw cocoa…

The national president of the Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN), Mr Adeola Adegoke, has called on stakeholders to stop the exportation of raw cocoa beans.

He called for the establishment of factories to process the cash crop in Nigeria so as to produce allied products from it.

Speaking when he inaugurated the new Cross River executive committee of the CFAN in Calabar last week, Adegoke also called for the establishment of new cocoa estates instead of endlessly talking about those ones established by the old Eastern Region.

“We need to start establishing new cocoa estates in parts of the country.  We want to see nothing less than 1,000 hectares of new cocoa estates established by Cross River State.

“Enough of export of raw cocoa beans, we need to start adding value and coming up with cocoa wines, biscuit sweets, soap that we can consume and export because we cannot prosper by just exporting raw cocoa beans.

“While it is important for the state government to be deliberate in infrastructural development in cocoa farming communities, there is need for extension services through innovation,” he said.

Adegoke disclosed that cocoa alone can effectively sustain the Cross River State economy because the state has rich, fertile lands and forests conducive for cocoa farming.

He said the state should effectively tap into these potentials to succeed.

He said Cross River had an advantage to become the leading producer of cocoa in the country because of the massive youth involvement in cultivation, procession and marketing.

He also said the future of cocoa in Nigeria belonged to Cross River, but disclosed that Ondo is presently the largest producers of the crop in Nigeria, yet the average age of a cocoa farmer in the state is between 55 and 60, which is an ageing population.

He urged members to repay the loans they collected from government and also pay their annual dues to the association, adding that in 2024, the cocoa festival would be held in Calabar.

On his part, Governor Bassey Otu, who was represented by the secretary to the state government, Professor Anthony Owan-Enoh, said the state would do all within its power to ensure that cocoa farmers get the necessary inputs and resources they need.

According to him, Cross River has been shortchanged for so long because the state produces cocoa, others come to the state to buy their cocoa, but at the end of the day, it is not counted for Cross River as the origin state.

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