Cocoa farmers have threatened to declare a nationwide strike over the sector’s neglect.The aggrieved farmers gave the threat under the aegis of the National Executive Council of the Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN).
In a communiqué after a meeting in Akure, they also alleged that government procured substandard agro inputs for the sector.
They expressed concern that this was happening, despite the diversification policy of the Federal Government into agriculture.
The farmers vowed to stage a mega protest across the cocoa producing states in the country, including Abuja and Lagos.
They indicted the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, alleging its neglect of the sector.
According to them, they have made several demands especially in the area of procuring inputs for cocoa farmers, and accused the government of not carrying them along in its diversification programmes.
The National President, Raimi Adeniji, the National Secretary, Adeola Adegoke and representatives of 14 states, signed the communiqué.
They said the development negates the Federal Government vision to develop the cocoa sector.
The farmers condemned the manner of procuring fake and substandard inputs for cocoa farmers, which he said, serve as wastes and destroys the cocoa trees.
“CFAN reiterated our earlier call on Mr. President to reorganise procurement process in the cocoa value chain to give room for our contribution.
“Almost a quarter of Nigeria cocoa plantations were destroyed by fire during last year’s dry season without any support from the Federal Government, despite our complaints,” the statement said.
They appealed to President Buhari to develop the cocoa industry as he promised during his campaigns.
“CFAN appeals to Buhari to intervene urgently to save the livelihood and future of cocoa farmers, considering the diversification campaign of the present administration,” the statement added.