The Executive Director, Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, CRIN, Dr Patrick Adebola says, farmers in Nigeria must embrace modern methods of cultivation to make their Cocoa beans competitive in the international market.
He stated this in Osogbo, during a day training organised for selected farmers in Osun State in collaboration with the Nigeria Export Promotion Council, NEPC on Best Agricultural practices and safe use of pesticides on Cocoa.
Represented by the Director of Training, CRIN, Dr Sunday Agbeniyi, the Executive Director said, it was imperative to train Nigeria farmers and support them to be abreast with modern methods of nursing, growing and harvesting their Cocoa to make the products competitive in the international markets and add more value to them.
Dr Adebola expressed concern over the low value attached to Nigeria’s commodity by European traders, blaming it on the wrong application of pesticides on their far.
He said the challenges of climate change and its impact on farming also underscored the need to build the capacity of farmers to respond to emergencies so as to mitigate the effect of the inevitable natural development.
The CRIN Chief executive officer lamented that Nigerian cocoa farmers and exporters had been exempted from premiums that their counterparts from Ghana and Cote’divore enjoyed.
In a remark, the Executive Director of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council, NERC, Dr Ezra Yakusouk said government was working assiduously to make agricultural products serve as viable alternatives to crude Oil.