BY OYE AGUNBIADE
The Federal Government says it has so far distributed over 300,000 improved hybrid cocoa seedlings to farmers across the federation.
The Minister Of Agriculture And Rural Development, Alhaji Mohammed Sabo Nanono disclosed this in Akure, the Ondo state capital while Unveiling Cocoa Farmers Association Of Nigeria (Cfan) National Secretariat Complex.
According to the Minister, all the states in the South-West, South-South North Central and South-East of the Country benefited from the improved cocoa seedlings.
Alhaji Nanono who commended CFAN for increasing cocoa production, noted that 500units of Solo pumps had also been distributed to Cocoa Farmers aimed at increasing cocoa production from the present 250,000 metric tonnes to 350,000 metric tonnes annually.
In a remark, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu represented by his Deputy, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa said as part of the efforts to improve cocoa production in Ondo state, the cocoa revolution committee had been upgraded to an agency.
Also, the National President of Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria, CFAN, Comrade Adeola Adegoke said the Cocoa Farmer House was located in Akure because Ondo state was the highest producer of the cash crop, adding that CFAN was working on regeneration of Cocoa plantations.
In a goodwill message, Former governor of Ondo state, Dr Olusegun mimiko who congratulated the association however challenged the farmers to step up from producing raw materials to the production of finished products like chocolate which will add more value and returns to their effort.
The cocoa farmers association national secretariat which Was filled to capacity had in attendance farmers from across the states of the federation.
The national secretariat aesthetically built at the heart of Akure has multiple offices with an expanse of land behind from which the event took place.