The Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) has said coffee farmers left production because of difficulty finding profitable market for their product.
The Director of Extension and Economics at CRIN, Dr. Olusoji Oduwole, disclosed this yesterday in an interview with Daily Trust at the ongoing 11th National Agricultural Show.
Dr. Oduwole emphasised that while coffee farmers were producing, access to market became a huge challenge because there was only one buyer and that prices which were based on international standards were very discouraging.
Oduwole stressed that the effect was that many of the farmers exited the production, noting that Plateau and Taraba states used to be home to upland coffee plantations, while the lowland rubber producing areas such as Cross River State also produced coffee.
He, however, said with the improved market, many of the farmers who abandoned the production were returning, adding that farmers who needed improved seedlings could get them from the institute on request.
He further said the institute was now encouraging farmers to revamp production as more processors entered the value chain arena.
Speaking on cocoa, Dr. Oduwole said the institute had improved cocoa seedlings that started producing after two years, assuring that with the improved seedlings, a farmer could get up to two tonnes per hectare as against the 300kg they were getting.