July 5, 2022 8:54 pm

Cocoa Production Rating: Abia Moves To Reclaim, Surpass Standing

By our reporter

The Abia State Cocoa Desk Officer, Dr. Ojo Uma Oko has revealed that more than 10,000 improve Seedlings have been given to Cocoa farmers in the state while more than 8,000 Improve Seedlings are still available for cocoa farmers to come and access at a reduced and subsidized price.
Recall that the State Coordinator, Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria, CFAN, Sir John K. Kalu had while seeking assistance from the Abia State government in the provision of Agro Chemicals, periodic training for farmers, creating a separate budget for cocoa expansion and extensive farming and provision of Cocoa processing factories, in an address he presented during the Flag Off of the 2021 Cocoa Season, at Dr Micheal Okpara Auditorium, Umuahia, revealed that the current rating among Cocoa Producing States in the Country, Abia State has dropped from the 4th position it previously occupied to the 11th Position.
He described the drift in position as not encouraging and disclosed further that Abia State was among the States that acknowledged Cocoa as an indispensable farm produce in the Agricultural Sector of the Nigerian Economy.
His words, “Cocoa generates much revenue to the States that Cultivate it and will do much better if separate budget is made for Cocoa expansion and extensive farming. For Abia State to drift from the 4th to the 11th Position in the Country is not good news. 
“Little wonder then why States like Imo, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi within the South East of the Country have speedily brace up to the extensive farming of Cocoa with Anambra, for instance raising 1,000,000 Cocoa seedlings this 2021 alone”
He however commended Governor Okezie Ikpeazu who flagged off the 2021 Cocoa planting season with improved special breed seedlings.
“I earnestly thank the State government that has introduced this high quality seedlings, I sincerely plead to the State government to quickly to our aid”, he had said.

The State Cocoa Desk Officer, Dr Ojo Uma Ojo disclosed the current distribution of the improved cocoa seedlings to farmers in Umuahia, said that the new hybrid of Cocoa seedlings shall enable the cocoa farmers in the State to desist from re-cycling old cocoa varieties in thier farms 
He further revealed that the cocoa seedlings have the advantage of high yield and minimal incidence of disease and pest attack.
He commended Dr Okezie lkpeazu’s led Government and its determination to reclaim the State leading position as major Cocoa producing State.
Ojo noted that Cocoa farming and production as contained in the Agricultural policy of the present administration will not only boost the resources of the State, but create employment to the teeming youths by taking them off the street.
Dr Ojo urged Cocoa Farmers in the state to ensure that they utilize the opportunity of getting the improved Cocoa Seedlings from Government to increase their yield.

He further harped on Cocoa farm expansion and encouraged farmers to replace old and weak Cocoa stands with the improved Seedlings which has shorter time of fruiting and ensure bumper harvests.

According to him”,. We have been going to the Air to enlighten Cocoa farmers come and access the improve cocoa Seedlings but turnup is not be encouraging. We are using this opportunity inform the cocoa farmers in Abia State that it is not the best for them to be recycling the Cocoa Trees some of have stayed up to 15 to 30 years”.

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