FG Trains Cocoa Farmers On Processing Techniques In Ondo, The federal government on Tuesday trained a total of 100 cocoa farmers in Ondo state on processing techniques for high-yielding quality cocoa beans to enable them export their produce to European countries and other parts of the world.
Speaking at the event in Akure, the state capital, the acting Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr Abdullahi Sidi-Aliyu said the program was part of efforts to develop the non-oil sector of the economy.
Aliyu, who was represented by one of the agency’s Director, Mr Akintunde Folorunsho, added that the project will render support to enhance technological/technical skills of small-scale producers of agricultural produces.
He said the agency is starting with cocoa, cashew and sesame seeds, noting that those trained will go and train others in their respective communities.
He said for the cocoa sub-sector, the fermentation process, among other factors determine the quality of beans for the export market.
Also speaking at the event, Ondo state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Olugbenga Adefarati, said about 5,000 cocoa seedling bags have been raised by the state government to assist farmers in the state.
According to him, the civil service is already heavy and that is why the government is encouraging young graduates to go into agriculture adding that one individual with few acres of cocoa land is better that those in the banking sector.
Adefarati, who was represented by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Agricultural Development, Mr Akin Olotu, encouraged the farmers to maintain their farms instead of selling their farmlands for residential purposes.
The event was organised by the NEPC in collaboration with the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI) of Netherlands.