Posted on March 23, 2018
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council has advised cocoa farmers on the need to properly ferment their cocoa beans to achieve better production and gain acceptance in the world market.
The Executive Director of NEPC, Segun Awolowo, gave the charge at the opening of a one-day workshop for cocoa farmers in Ekiti with the theme ‘Improving the quality of cocoa production in Ekiti State for global competitiveness’.
The workshop organised by NEPC Akure zone was for the training of farmers on different methods of cocoa fermentation with the use of fermentation boxes.
Awolowo, who was represented by the Head, Trade Information Unit, NEPC Lagos, Mrs. Fransisca Odega, said the Federal Government was desirous to improve the production and export base of economy by increasing production, processing, packaging and marketing of non-oil export commodities.
He said, “Let me assure you that the Federal Government is committed to restoring the agricultural and industrial sector especially the cocoa subsector to its prime position before the discovery of crude oil.
“I therefore wish to use this occasion to call on all farmers and stakeholders to support and key into government policy of promotion of non-oil export as an alternative source of revenue.
“If all hands are on deck, the policy will not only boost our country’s economic growth and development but will serve as a road map towards genuine industrialisation and integration of our economy with other developed economies of the world.”
The Permanent Secretary, Ekiti State Ministry of Commerce, Kayode Abe, said the state government had disbursed N1.5bn to business owners and farmers in conjunction with the Central Bank of Nigeria out of the N2bn approved for the Small and Medium Enterprises in the state.The Trade Promotion Advisor, Mr. Oluwole Monehin, advised farmers to ferment their cocoa beans for a minimum of five days in order to achieve better production.
“Many of them are in a hurry to ferment their cocoa; this reduces the quality of production. The minimum fermentation days range between five and seven days.
“It has been observed that addressing numerous challenges besetting smallholders in this subsector is germane to achieving expected results,” he added.