Foundation tasks FG, others on cocoa value chain to replace oil

Cocoa

• Says 300,000 tonnes increase can mitigate oil doom
• ‘Integrating agric into technology will guarantee food security’

Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) has urged government at all levels and other development partners to utilise the economic potentials available in cocoa production to cushion the effect of global oil doom.

PIND Executive Director, Dr. Dara Akala, who said this yesterday at the cocoa value-chain study validation workshop in Akure, hinged the assurance on a recent analysis carried out on cocoa value chain in the country.

Akala noted that it is the tradition of the organisation in the Niger Delta region to gather stakeholders to validate the interesting findings from researches conducted into any area of focus.

According to him, PIND initiated the cocoa value chain study to diagnose the cocoa sector with a view to understanding the structure of the industry in the Niger Delta.

The executive director said it is imperative for key stakeholders to take advantage of the increased market opportunities in the sector, identifying key value chains and conduct cocoa stakeholders’ mapping.

The PIND Market Development Projects Manager, James Elekwachi, who led the value chain study, said: ‘’Cocoa sector has the growth potential and the opportunity to increase income and employment for millions of people, especially the unskilled and semi-skilled in the region.”

Meanwhile, Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Agriculture and Agric Business, Pastor Akin Olotu, stated that the state government had embarked on several revolutionary measures to optimally utilise the cocoa potentials in the state for massive development.

Another group, under the auspices of Synergos Innovation Development Nigeria and Farmcrowdy and Civic Innovation Hub, has disclosed plan of integrating agriculture to technology to drive small farm holders and guarantee food security nationwide.

Synergos Innovation Development Nigeria was founded by the Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation (BMGF) with head office in the New York, focused on bridging the gap between technology and small farm holders across the country while Farmcrowdy is a model that connects investors with small farm holders.

The Developing Manager in Synergos, Philip Etim, told The Guardian in an interview that the entire programme is to bridge the gap between technology and small farmer holders.



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