BY JOHN EBIOFINI
*Cocoa And Plantain Farmers Association Of Nigeria ,CPFAN Launches Mega Factory , FG Pledges Assistance*
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is committed to boosting cocoa and plantain production with continuous assistance to farmers of the produce .
The minister , Dr Mohammad Abubakar made this known at the foundation laying and fund raising ceremony for cocoa and plantain mega processing factory in Ilara Mokin , Ondo State.
The mega factory undertaken by the cocoa and plantain Farmers association of Nigeria , CPFAN when completed will cater for standardisation of cocoa and plantain to meet international market standard.
The minister represented by the Ministry’s desk Officer in Ondo State , Mr Olasunbo Olarinde said government was delighted at the effort of establishing the factory to make the country’s cocoa and plantain produce compete well in the global market and pledged total support for the project.
He added that the Federal ministry of Agriculture would increase supply of farm inputs at subsidized rate to the farmers .
Performing the project ground breaking , Ondo State Governor , Oluwarotimi Akeredolu represented by the commissioner for Agriculture and Forestry Mr Olatayo Aribo asked other farmers association to emulate CPFAN and promised more assistance to farmers in the state.
In a remark , the Alara of Ilaramokin Oba Abiodun Adefehinti enjoined the farmers to increase their production now that that a factory was available to give value to their labour.
The chairman of the occasion and founder of Elizade group, Chief Michael Adeojo represented by Dr Yemisi Olorunsola advised well meaning Nigerians to establish industries to boost the economy.
Earlier, CPFAN National President, Chief Ayodele Ojo explained that the factory was established to bring together all value chains in cocoa and plantain production.
Also , Chairmen of cocoa and plantain farmers associations from Ivory coast and Ghana , Mr Joseph Konan ,Mr Akwasi Mensah and Mr Israel Coulibay advocated support for the farmers saying plantain and cocoa had been a big foreign exchange earner for Cote D’ivoire and Ghana which Nigeria could also benefit .
Other Farmers who spoke on the occasion appealed for more funding for the agric sector and good road network to motivate and encourage young people into agriculture.
The foundation laying ceremony of the mega cocoa and plantain factory was witnessed by other cocoa and plantain farmers associations from 27 states in Nigeria , Ghana and Cote D’ivoire