Benue State Set to Partner with CRIN on Sustainable Cocoa Production

Benue State Set to Partner with CRIN on Sustainable Cocoa Production

Benue State Set to Partner with CRIN on Sustainable Cocoa Production

Nigeria’s agricultural history for several decades cannot be told without mentioning cocoa as one of the major agricultural export commodity. Benue State, considering the huge economic benefits of cocoa, is in the process of adopting cocoa as a commodity crop to increase her internally generated revenue and serve as a catalyst to propel the economic fortunes of her citizens. Benue State shares boundary with cocoa producing states like Kogi, Cross River and Taraba without being listed in cocoa production. Against this background, Mr. Adakolo Ejegbudu, the Chairman of Henin Project Limited discovered the presence of cocoa production in 11 Local Government Areas (LGAs) out of 23 LGAs in Benue State. This led him to sensitize the populace and the Government on the potential of Benue State in Cocoa Production and this culminated into the Benue Cocoa Conference with the theme “Making Benue A Cocoa Hub”.
The objectives of the conference are to: 1) review and portray the present trend of cocoa production, its relevance, and opportunities it holds for the Benue and Nigeria economy, 2) show the world that cocoa trees have been grown for decades in parts of Benue, 3) introduce to Benue the best agricultural practices for sustainable cocoa production and 4) develop and present a road map to make Benue a major cocoa Hub.
The Institute was represented at the conference by the Director and Cocoa Programme Leader, Dr. S. B. Orisajo, Dr. R. O. Igbinadolor and Dr. B. S. Famuyiwa. A 30-minute sensitization Radio discussion was held at the Benue State Radio Corporation around 6pm on the 23rd August featuring the Initiator, Mr. Adakolo, CRIN team, representatives from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN). Issues relating to cocoa production were interactively discussed.
Several participants involving Government officials, farmers, investors and other dignitaries attended the cocoa conference held on 24 August, 2023.
Dr. Orisajo, on behalf of the ED CRIN, Dr. Patrick Adebola, presented a paper on best agricultural practices for sustainable cocoa production. He reiterated the need for soil test before transplanting cocoa seedlings on the field, and sourcing hybrid cocoa seedlings directly from CRIN amongst others.
There were presentations by others speakers bordering on cocoa production in Benue State. As part of the communiqué of the Benue State cocoa conference, a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) would be developed between the Benue State Government, CRIN and Henin Projects Ltd for the training of farmers on Best Agricultural Practices (BAP) for sustainable cocoa production and for the supply of hybrid cocoa pods and seedlings. Exhibitions of cocoa from various Benue State LGAs and cocoa products from CRIN were displayed.

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The Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) was established in Ibadan, Oyo State on 1st December, 1964 as a successor autonomous rese arch organisation to the Nigerian Substation of the defunct West African Cocoa Research Institute (WACRI)

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