There’s a lot to benefit in the cocoa value chain, but requires a lot of effort from both the private sector and government, this is according to the National President of CFAN, Comrade Adeola Adegoke, in an interview with Tribunalonline, as he shares his thoughts on the cocoa sector.
Cocoa is a key player in the non-oil sector and contributes to the generation of foreign exchange for the country, and Comrade Adegoke says the kind of cocoa investment needed is that of a holistic approach in the cocoa value chain for optimum benefit from the lots opportunities in the cocoa business.
With the global oil market bracing up for a big hit as the shift from oil to renewable energy heats up, oil producers face huge task in sustaining profitability in the nearest future, Comrade Adegoke believes with direct and indirect investments, a profiting cocoa economy is capable of taking care of the diversification from oil.
“So, I am looking forward to a kind of sustainable cocoa economy that can actually take care of our diversification from oil because this is the only way that we can sustain the economy, so I am looking at direct and indirect investment in the sector.
Furthermore, He addressed the issues of compliance to Good Agronomic Practices (GAP), encouraging all stake holders to comply to the rules in order to participate in international trade.
This is to prevent such things as rejection of exports, for example, according to reports, between 2015 and 2016, about 25 produce from Nigeria were rejected, which includes cocoa, sesame seeds, melon seeds, dried fish and meat.
To tackle this issue, Adegoke said “There is a lot that needs to be done in terms of making sure that cocoa farmers start to adhere strictly to the International Best Practices, especially on Good Agronomic Practices (GAP).
“We believe that there should be a conscious effort by the Cocoa industry players with our smallholder farmers to make sure that we follow all these international rules that are guiding the production of sustainable cocoa beans.
“I want a situation where the smallholder cocoa farmers will ensure that we give the country quality cocoa bean without contamination, deforestation free, child labour free, this to me will ensure the country moving towards a sustainable cocoa economy,” he said.
The CFAN president also earmarked that financing should be on a log-term basis rather than only on production basis, and advocated for speedy implementation of issues discussed on the summit.