The executive director of Foundation for Partnership in the Niger Delta (PIND), Dr. Dara Akala has charged government at all levels and other development partners to utilize the economic potentials available in cocoa production to cushion the effects of global oil doom.
He stated this at the Cocoa Value Chain Study Validation Workshop held in Akure, Ondo State, recently.
Akala and 32 participants drawn across the Niger Delta states with review of reports on end market, aggregators, producers and support function, hinged their assurance on a recent analysis carried out on cocoa value chain in the country.
He said:”As Nigeria’s Cocoa production and export began to increase in 2017, the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) carried out a value chain study of the sector between January and April 2018.”
He noted that it is the tradition of the organisation in the Niger Delta region to gather stakeholders to validate the interesting findings from researches conducted into any area of focus.
According to him, PIND initiated the Cocoa Value Chain study to diagnose the cocoa sector with a view to understanding the structure of the industry in the Niger Delta. He added that PIND, which is market-driven in its approach, prioritizes the drive to find and improve markets that offer jobs and income opportunities for the poor majority.
He also said it is imperative for key stakeholders to take advantage of the increased market opportunities in the sector, identifying key value chains and conduct cocoa stakeholders mapping.
“It also identified investment opportunities in the industry, the competitiveness of the region’s cocoa economy and the gaps and areas in need of intervention for sustainability and effective linkage with the global cocoa value chain,” he said.
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