BY OLUWATOSIN IGHOTEGUONO
Over Fifty Cocoa farmers have been trained on proper ways of Harvesting and Conducting Post-Harvest activities to improve Cocoa Quality in Ondo State.
The training was organised by the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, CRIN, Ibadan in conjunction with the world cocoa foundation held in Akure.
The workshop was aimed at improving the quality of Cocoa and also address some challenges often faced by Cocoa farmers in Ondo state.
The Executive Director, Cocoa Research Institute Of Nigeria, CRIN, Ibadan, Dr Patrick Adebola emphasized the need for Cocoa farmers to adopt modern methods of cultivation for better quality and competitiveness of Cocoa
Flavour in the international world.
While appreciating the Ondo state government for giving Cocoa farmers in the state enabling environment to thrive, the Director of training ,CRIN, Dr Sunday Agbeniyi charged farmers and Stakeholders in the Cocoa and Chocolate Processors to always work according to standard.
Declaring open the one day workshop, Senior Special Adviser to Ondo State governor on Agric and Agric Business, Pastor Akin Olotu appreciated CRIN for performing well in the area if Research, saying the state government would continue to consolidate effort of CRIN at ensuring that Cocoa boost the economy of the country without depending on oil.
In an interview, the national president Cocoa farmers Association of Nigeria, CFAN, Mr Adeola Adegoke who said the programme was a wake up call to improve on the quality of Cocoa and its Sales at the international market.
One of the Resource Persons from the department of plant Breeding , CRIN, Ibadan, Dr Festus Olasupo explained that farmers had been trained on latest ways and techniques that would help to improve Cocoa production and how to give the best Cocoa flavour to machandise.
Some of the Participants at the programme Mrs Janet Olatunji, High chief Ngbeyak Leku and Dr Taiwo Osun commended the organisers of the training adding that it will go a long way at improving quality of products used on cocoa.
They however appealed for accessible road for cocoa farmers to transport their produce to urban centres.
Highlights of the workshop included introduction of farmers to cocoa flavour, Cocoa tasting section, Drying and fermentation process, packaging and storage of Cocoa and presentation of award certificates to participants.