Cocoa production has been at the forefront of Federal Government’s plan of diversifying the economy away from oil.
High yields and quality are however the targets making the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, an agency saddled with the promotion of non-oil export involved in repositioning Nigerian cocoa beans to attain global competitiveness.
One of NEPC efforts is capacity building program for over two hundred cocoa farmers in six council areas of Ondo state held at Bolorunduro in Ondo east local government area of the state.
The resource person, a renowned cocoa production expert and consultant, Dr Jibayo Oyebade took farmers through modern and improved methods of producing premium cocoa beans.
He also laid emphasis on expansion of cocoa farmers associations into wards levels, government’s provision for processing centres, solar sheds, hybrid seedlings among others.
Dr Oyebade made a strong advocacy for a national law on cocoa for cocoa revolution to succeed.
The trade promotion advisor of the NEPC, Akure Smart Office, Mr Oluwole Monehin said the agency was committed to cocoa revolution in the bid to make cocoa a formidable foreign exchange earner for the country.
The Chairman, Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria, CFAN, Mr Adeola Adegoke pointed out that infrastructural development of the rural areas would attract younger generation into cocoa farming thus boosting its production.
Farmers who participated in the training commended the NEPC attention to cocoa but said that more still needed to be done.
It is the belief of stakeholders that the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, is actually putting the country on the path of economic prosperity as it pursues the cocoa revolution project optimally.