‘Unstable Govt Policies, Bane Of Cocoa Production’

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An agricultural extensionist, Dr Ayodeji Omoare, has identified poor feeder roads, and unstable government policies as the major constraints to effective cocoa production in Nigeria.

The academic made this disclosure recently at the Federal College of Education, Abeokuta, while presenting her post-field report on a Tetfund sponsored research project titled “Comparative Assessment of Cocoa Farmers Knowledge and Attitude Towards Training on Cultural Management Practices (CMP) Ondo and Ogun State, Nigeria.

The study which was conducted in collaboration with Professor E.O Fakoya from the Department of Agricultural Extension, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, and Mr W.O Oyediran from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Abeokuta sampled a total of 320 Cocoa Farmers out of the 1600 registered Cocoa Farmers for Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS) in Ogun and Ondo State.

While advising the Federal and the State Government to be consistent with agricultural polices, Omoare stated that cocoa farmers were being exposed to ridiculous pricing of cocoa beans.This in her view was shortchanging the nation of enormous economic benefits embedded Agricultural sector.

Nigeria which has lost its leading position as a foremost cocoa exporter to Cote d’ ivoire and Ghana the researcher noted has the capacity of repositioning and boosther foreign exchange earnings.

Omoare further urged the governments at all levels to urgently rehabilitate farm settlement road networks to ease movement of cocoa farmers and their good to markets.

The study which sought to compare the knowledge level and attitude of cocoa farmers to training on Cultural Management Practices in the study areas revealed that majority of Cocoa Farmers in Ogun and Ondo States were adequately knowledgeable on the production mechanisms of cocoa.

On the attitude of cocoa farmers to training on cultural management practices (CMP), the result showed that cocoa farmers in both statesofOgun and Ondo had a positive attitude to CMP trainings as they spent considerable amount of money to attend trainings.