Cocoa farmers in Kwara State on Thursday got 50,000 hybrid cocoa seedlings to boost production.
The Deputy Governor and Chairman Kwara State Cocoa Development Committee, Mr Kayode Alabi, flagged off the distribution of the seedlings.
He said the cocoa industry was the second largest foreign exchange earner after crude oil and was generating over two million jobs along its value chain.
He said the state was known as one of the cocoa producing states in Nigeria, adding that the present administration was committed to increasing its production and securing a suitable market.
“The administration is encouraging value addition through local processing and encouraging local consumption of cocoa products,” he said.
“The government is distributing the seedlings free of charge to farmers as palliatives to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on them,” he said.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Muritala Olanrewaju said the main objective of the programme is to arrest the migration of Kwara farmers to other states.