Abia Government in partnership with CFAN flag off distribution of Cocoa improve seedlings
The Government of Abia state in partnership with Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN)has flag off free distribution of improved Cocoa seedlings and Cocoa GAP handbook, to Abia state smallholder cocoa farmers in Umuahia.
Flagging off the distribution at the Michael Okpara Auditorium, in Umuahia, the Governor of the state,Dr.Okezie Ikpeazu,ably representated by the Chief of staff, office of the Deputy Governor Abia state, Chief Don Ubani, thanked the Leadership of CFAN for putting Abia state smallholder cocoa farmers into consideration in it’s free distribution of improved Cocoa seedlings and Cocoa GAP handbook to ensure Abia cocoa farmers achieve their best.
The governor said that Abia state is privileged to produce the late premier of Eastern Region,Dr. Michael Okpara, that is synonymous with Agriculture and the Government is following his footstep to make Agriculture the corner Stone of Abia state economy.
He called on cocoa farmers in the state to make good use of the opportunity provided by CFAN cocoa handbook and the improved seedlings to increase their yield in the state.
Earlier in his speech, the National President, Cocoa Farmers Association, Comrade Adeola Adegoke, representated by National secretary CFAN, chief Ngbeyeka Leku said that it is there collective focus to increase Nigeria cocoa productivity and production in Nigeria, hence the embarking in free distribution of improved Cocoa seedlings and handbook for increase yield in cocoa production in Nigeria.
According to him,”The launching of the free distribution of Cocoa Good Agricultural Practices(GAP) handbook across the entire cocoa producing states and Abia in particular will mark Nigeria’s path to achieve 100 per cent premium cocoa production with 500,000 MT targets and sustainable practices in the cocoa supply chain in the year 2024 and the highest cocoa producer by 2027.”
He said that they are currently collaborating with Harvestfield industries limited, Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), Ecosystem Based Adaptation for food security Assembly Nigeria (EBAFOSA), Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, federal Ministry of industry, Trade and investment and other stakeholders on how to increase cocoa and forestry practices in order to improve our transparency across the cocoa supply chain.
In his welcome address the cocoa desk officer and secretary Abia state cocoa transformation committee,Dr. Ojo Uma Ojo, said that the flag off of the new hybrid of cocoa will enable the cocoa farmers to stop using and recycling the old cocoa varieties in their farms.
The flag off ceremony chaired by Sir John Kalu,CFAN, Abia state, was witnessed by the commissioner for Agriculture, Abia state professor Ikechi Mgbeoji,who was represented by his permanent secretary chief Okey lhedioha.