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The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr.Mohammad Abubakar has said it’s high time the country exported cocoa powder and other derivatives in order to boost the value chain, enhance the income of farmers as well as earn foreign exchange for the country.

He also said the federal government is working towards ensuring that Nigeria becomes the largest cocoa producer and exporter in the world.

Abubakar, at the presentation of the Cocoa production update by the Cocoasoil Group in Abuja, said a lot of articulated research by experts had gone into the cocoa production manual on how to increase production.

The minister insisted that Nigeria should be the best cocoa-producing country in the world as the commodity could be grown in many parts of the nation.

He said, “We are seeing what is happening in other countries, and we will replicate it here. In the industry part, farmers will bring their raw materials to be processed from there it will be exported.

“Researchers have also gone to find out why cocoa production is not at its utmost best here, because we have all it takes to be the best. From what has been carried out, we have identified the pitfalls, with this manual, we will return to exporting cocoa it will become better than what we used to be.


“The pitfalls have been discovered, including the ease of production and planting which we will know what to do now”.

Also, speaking at the occasion, the Director, Federal Department of Agricultural Extension, Mr. Frank Kudla, said the government and partners are working towards the establishment of a cocoa plantation in the non-forest areas.


The programme, he said, is led by the Sustainable Trade Initiative (STI), International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), in collaboration with Cocoa Research Institute (CRIN) in the target countries including, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Cameroon.
Kudla, who is also the Chairman, Partnership for Development (P4D) Committee, said the cocoa soil project is targeted at investing in research and development of cocoa to improve Partnership for the programme.

He pointed out that the research and development component is geared towards acquiring more knowledge in cocoa management and nutrient improvement.


He said the project also aims to develop cocoa yield validation in Nigeria, and disseminate research findings to farmers adding that the project has so far trained about 126 extension agents and about 28,000 cocoa farmers.

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