Minister of agriculture and rural development, Dr Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar has disclosed the federal government’s commitment towards increasing Nigeria’s cocoa production from the present 340,000 tonnes to 500,000 tonnes by 2024.
Abubakar stated during a courtesy visit by the executive director, International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO) Mr Arrion Michel in Abuja on Tuesday.
The minister assured that Nigeria can achieve an increase in cocoa production based on the present drive of the federal government and relevant stakeholders towards utilisation of improved varieties.
He noted that of utmost importance is traceability and transparency in the cocoa sector, national cocoa farm irrigation, improvement of the cocoa sector through research, input delivery, production, value addition, processing and export.
Abubakar stated that, “Recently Nigeria has made a remarkable move to join the Living Income Differential (LID) initiatives and the interactive meeting between Nigerian delegation and Ghana cocoa board has yielded a positive result with the recent approval by ministry to establish the National Cocoa Management Committee (NCMC)”.
He added that” The committee will consist of all relevant stakeholders in the Nigerian cocoa industry, develop a framework for the regulation and monitoring of all activities in the cocoa sector in order to achieve transparency, traceability and sustainability”.
Earlier, Mr Arrion said that Africa produce about 80 per cent of cocoa but the price is determined in Europe and noted there is need to address the issues of market force.