Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN) has promised to boost the country’s production capacity to surpass both Ivory Coast and Ghana in the next five years.
CFAN says this will be achieved through a sustainable cocoa production to grow the nation’s foreign exchange earnings and Gross Domestic Product respectively.
National President of CFAN, Mr Adeola Adegoke, stated this on Tuesday at the opening of the association’s office in Abuja.
Adegoke said activities to be performed to increase the production capacity would be the launching of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), a training book for the smallholder cocoa farmers among others.
He said the target was to push the country’s cocoa production from the current 250,000 metric tons to 500,000 metric tons in the next two years with the finest premium quality cocoa in the world.
Adegoke said the cocoa would be produced in a sustainable path where the ecosystem would be sustainably and environmentally preserved.
The president said smallholder cocoa farmers would be improved through the implementation of the collection of 400 dollars per ton support.
He said this was aside the floor price being collected in Ivory Coast and Ghana respectively to support their smallholder cocoa farmers.
“We raised an alarm on the low quality of our cocoa beans and the need for our nation to brace up to change this narrative.
“This is in order to prevent our cocoa from being rejected now and in the future or being sanctioned.
“This could subsequently lead to the blockage of other opportunities that could improve the livelihood of our farmers.
“Against the above backdrop, there is need for our association with other stakeholders to take a position among others to launch this GAP book.
“It will be launched in collaboration with Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria and the Ecosystem Based Adaptation for food Security Assembly Nigeria.
“We are therefore willing and ready to partner with relevant cocoa stakeholders not only in Nigeria but in the cocoa world.
“This is in order to make the GAP book available free of charge to our smallholder cocoa farmers in all the cocoa producing communities and cocoa producing states in Nigeria,” Adegoke said.
He said the association would collaborate with cocoa stakeholders in conjunction with extension officers in tree crops and the private sector on how to train smallholder farmers on sustainable cocoa production.
Adegoke said the association had decided to set up a task force on monitoring and enforcement to ensure smallholder farmers followed the required standard outline in the GAP book.
“This will be done particularly considering safe use of pesticide, child labour free, prevention of deforestation, putting traceability in place, having sustainable ecosystem and good quality cocoa in general,” he added.