The Ondo State Government (ODSG) says it has concluded plans to raise five million cocoa seedlings at different locations across the state to enhance its revenue generation.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Adegboyega Adefarati, said this on Monday during a visit to the state’s Hybrid Cocoa Seed Garden at Owena in Idanre Local Government area.
Adefarati said that the initiative was in line with the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission.
The commissioner said this was part of the state government’s efforts to diversify its economy into other viable fields and maintain its leading position in cocoa production in the country.
He said the government would establish cocoa and cashew plantations mainly in the Northern and Central Senatorial Districts of the state; and oil palm plantations in the Southern Senatorial District.
Adefarati said that part of the seedlings would be sold to farmers at subsidised rates so that they would be able to replace their ageing cocoa plantations with new ones.
The commissioner disclosed that the government had acquired thousands of hectares of land for the cocoa plantations in the Northern Senatorial District of the state.
He said that land-clearing and preparation, ahead of next planting season, would begin soon.
He said that all ageing government-owned cocoa plantations across the state would be regenerated and positioned for maximum production toward generating income for the state.
Adefarati said that the administration of Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu was determined to reposition the agriculture sector for job creation, food security, employment opportunities and improved standards of living for the citizens of the state.