The Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, CRIN, has launched a program tagged COCOASOIL PROGRAM to revive the dwindling fortune of cocoa.
The program launched at its headquarters, Idi Ayunre, Ibadan, Oyo state, witnessed large turnout of cocoa farmers, researchers and policy makers both in Nigeria and other Africa countries.
Welcoming the participants, the Director General and the Chief Executive Officer of CRIN, Dr Olayiwola Olubamiwa explained that Norwegian government provided eleven million dollars to support the program.
Dr Olubamiwa who explained that other international organizations including CRIN are expected to provide other technical materials needed for the success of the cocoasoil program.
The Director General said it is a process of applying correct fertilizer to each soil, which differs from the conventional application method
The International Cordinator cocosoils program, Mr Richard Asari explained that the program will be executed within five years.
Mr Asari identified aging farmers, climate change, lack of modern tools and poor funding as factors hindering good cocoa production.
Addressing the participants, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbe described the initiative as timely, especially now that the country is diversifying her Economy.
Represented by Director, Tree Crop in the ministry, Olalekan Quadri, encouraged farmers to plant cocoa more as there will be higher demand of the product once Federal Government approved inclusion of cocoa drink in its school feeding program.
The participants commended the initiator of the program saying it will enhance their productivity
Highlights of the program was a cultural display on fortunes in cocoa business