Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will lead stakeholders at the 2022 National Cocoa Festival to discuss sustainable ways to boost the cocoa industry value chain in the country, the Guardian has reported.
The annual festival is scheduled to hold in Akure, Ondo State on October 13, 2022.
It is organised by the Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria in collaboration with the Ondo state government, CAN, FMARD, FMITI, Harvestfield Industry Limited, CRIN, Ondo State Cocoa Council and the Ooni of Ife Outreach.
This year’s edition of Nigeria’s National Cocoa Festival is on the theme ‘Stakeholders’ Collaboration to Make Nigeria Cocoa Industry Sustainable’ a subject to be anchored by Professor Oguntade of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA).
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Muhammad Mahmood Abubakar; Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment, Niyi Adebayo; Managing Director, Starlink Global and Ideal Limited, Adeyemi Adeniji, will also dialogue on repositioning the cocoa industry to boost revenue at the state and federal government levels.
The event will also have in attendance all commissioners for agriculture of all cocoa-producing states, all directors of the produce of cocoa producing states, representatives of cocoa exporters and representatives of the cocoa stakeholders in Diaspora.
After decades of slumber, Nigeria is in recent time gathering steam to revitalise its cocoa production and the value chain as part of a plan to increase export revenue.
Currently, cocoa is said to be the highest non-oil contributor to Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) with the country currently ranking number four among the top producers with 340,000-tonne annual output.
Nigeria’s liberalised and unregulated cocoa sector, the delegation noted, was depriving smallholder cocoa farmers of the appropriate income, aside from losing out on the Living Income Differential (LID).
But Africa’s biggest economy reckons that the status quo can only be remedied by joining hands with Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire in pushing the agenda for a favourable pricing mechanism for African cocoa producers.
The Federal Government of Nigeria has taken a cue from Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire’s Living Income Differential initiative for cocoa producers to address challenges facing the country’s cocoa sector.
In view of this, a National Cocoa Management Committee (NCMC) was recently constituted to work out modalities to raise the value share for Nigerian cocoa farmers.
Key among the Committee’s tasks is to “develop a strategic plan towards the establishment of a Nigerian Cocoa Board,” according to Dr Mohammed Abubakar, Nigeria’s Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development.
Dr Abubakar said, “the NCMC, as an important regulatory body in the Nigerian Cocoa sector, shall upscale their activities to all cocoa-producing states.”
The committee will also draft a charter to be forwarded to the Nigerian National Assembly for ratification.
The cocoa charter is to enable Nigeria to satisfy the cardinal requirement for joining the Cote d’Ivoire – Ghana Cocoa Initiative in order to benefit from the Living Income Differential of $400 per tonne.
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