Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN) Cross River State chapter, yesterday, charged federal government to set up a taskforce that will prohibit fake and sub-standards pesticides from entering the country and prevent cocoa producers from having access to fake pesticides that impact negatively on the quality and tonnes of cocoa produced annually.
The association also urged the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to ensure that banned pesticides which quality had been known to be sub-standard and fake by other cocoa producing nations of the world doesn’t find their way into Nigerian market.
The chairman of the association in the state, Comrade Ejor Bissong, gave the charge yesterday while answering questions from journalists on the need to maintain standard and quality cocoa beans known to be of great importance at the international cocoa market.
He said that if cocoa beans produced by farmers in the country were of better grade, there is likelihood for the price per tonne to astronomically increase at the international market, stressing that good quality beans remain a major determinant of good price.
Speaking on the topic “Deforestation and its effects on Cocoa; use of inappropriate pesticides,” the CAN chairman warned that unless something is urgently done by government at all levels to salvage the situation, quality of the product risk going down.
“CAN members should get copies of approved standards made available by SON. Right methods of application of pesticides like the European Union (EU) standard or even the Japanese standard should be adopted.
“Accredited laboratories are available for determining the true quality of cocoa. Policy makers must be encouraged to come up with legislations that are friendly to our case,” he stated.
A communique signed by the association’s chairman, Comrade Ejor Bissong, secretary, Mr Shittu Olawale, CAN vice president Cross River/Akwa Ibom, Mr Godwin Okwu and two other stakeholders sighted by our correspondent in Calabar yesterday, called on cocoa farmers not to cut down trees any longer.