C/River raises 6m cocoa seedlings to boast production

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Women from a local cocoa farmers association called BLAYEYA spread cocoa beans to dry in Djangobo, Niable in eastern Ivory Coast, November 17, 2014. REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon/File Photo

By Benson Ezugwu

Etung (Cross River), Dec. 15, 2020 The Special Adviser to Gov. Ben Ayade on Cocoa Development and Control, Mr Oscar Ofuka on Sunday said Cross River has raised six million improved variety cocoa seedlings to boast its production capacity.

He said this in Bendeghe, Etung Local Government Area, where he was conferred with a chieftaincy title of Ntuiri Eji 1 of Ejagam Kingdom, Efun Efun Afon Ndume-Nne meaning, hero of development by the Etung Traditional Council.

Ofuka described the conferment of the title on him as a testament of his effort to develop Cocoa across the state.

He said with the six million improved variety Cocoa seedlings, the stage was set for the state to reclaim its rightful position as number one Cocoa producing state in the country.

“This is what our governor has mandated us to do, to return Cross River to the position of number one cocoa producing state and to ensure that cocoa remained the mainstay of our economy.

“As for my chieftaincy title, I thank the governor for giving me the opportunity to serve and my people, the Etung Traditional Council as well as my own Local Government for the recognition.

‘I promise that, I will continue to do my best in the development of the state,” he said.

The special adviser said that Nigeria at large would benefit from the cocoa revolution going on in the state, in the long run.

“I say this because, by the time we are through with what we are doing, Nigeria will overtake Cote D’Voire as the number one producer of Cocoa in Africa and the World, ” Ofuka said.

He, however, said that for the state to achieve the Cocoa transformation, more people needed to return to its cultivation.

According to him, there is need for more government investment in the Cocoa Value Chain if the state is ready to change the narrative of over dependence on the monthly allocation from the Federation Account.

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