Ondo To Prioritise Cocoa Production To Boost Economy – Aiyedatiwa

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Ondo State Governor, Hon. Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa, has said his administration will work towards enhancing production of Cocoa to boost the economy of the State.

Prince Ebenezer Adeniyan, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor in a press release quoted Governor Aiyedatiwa has saying the government will ensure that the State retains the status of the highest cocoa producer in the country by supporting cocoa farmers to push their products to the international market to earn foreign exchange.

The Governor gave the assertion while playing host to the members of the Ondo State Cocoa Council led by the Chairman, Dr. Olusegun Awolumate, in his office, in Akure.

Governor Aiyedatiwa, who commended the leaders and members of the Council on their activities, said before the discovery of oil, cocoa was the mainstay of the economy, especially in the Southwest region of the country.

He said: “We will support you and other stakeholders to increase our cocoa production, most especially the one that has to do with growing cocoa outside the forests in which if measures are not taken will affect the quality of our products in International market.

“Whatsoever measures we need to take, I promise we will look at them together to make sure the problem is resolved and our product remains the best in the International market.”

The Governor reiterated the determination of his administration towards the construction and rehabilitation of rural roads to enhance the productivity of farmers and produce marketers in the State.

Governor Aiyedatiwa urged the Council to involve youths in its activities as the government is interested in supporting new generation of farmers in the State.

Earlier, Chairman Ondo State Cocoa Council, Dr. Olusegun Awolumate, said Ondo State has the comparative advantage among equals which has consistently served as major revenue driver to its economic growth.

Dr. Awolumate stated that the Council is in partnership with the Ondo office of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) on the establishment of Cocoa Agropreneurs’ Mentorship Programme (CAMP) to attract and retain successor generation of youthful Cocoa farmers, hence about 50 students of Federal College of Agriculture, Akure (FECA) and Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA) are currently involved in the pilot stage of the programme.

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