The production and sale of cocoa in Nigeria has been said to have contributed $313 million to the country’s gross domestic product in thirty years
This was made known by the Federal Government while stressing the importance of the produce to the country’s agricultural sector.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammed Sabo Nanono, made this known in Akure, Ondo State, while opening the newly established National Secretariat of Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN) recently.
The Minister stressed that Nigeria has the capacity to overtake Ivoire, Ghana and Indonesia to become the largest cocoa producer in the world in no distant future.
He said Nigeria was once a major producer of cocoa, but today lags behind Cote d’ Ivoire, Ghana and Indonesia, sharing only six per cent of global production of the commodity.
Nanono attributed the decline in production to bad weather, old trees that have not been rehabilitated, lack of improved seedlings, poor quality due to pest infestation and pesticide contamination, among others.
The Minister, however, reiterated the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to the development of all sectors of the economy, especially agriculture.
“Cocoa production is on the front burner of government despite the economic downturn the world has been experiencing due to COVID-19,” Nanono said.