- As the country loses N60 billion a year due to lack of LID
Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
The President of the Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN), Mr. Adeola Adegoke, revealed that the current currency deficit can only be solved by the cocoa economy.
He said that in the Nigerian economic indexes, cocoa is next to crude oil in terms of percentage as its potential has been revealed, adding that the liberalization enterprise and the ‘business as usual’ syndrome have contributed. to sink the country to where it is at the moment.
Adegoke, who revealed this yesterday in Abuja at a workshop organized by Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) in collaboration with the University of Ibadan, said there is a need to follow international best practices that support cocoa production around the world.
During the program on the theme: “Cocoa Marketing in Nigeria: Problems, Prospects and Policy Requirements”, Adegoke said that farmers must start eliminating child labor practices, and under no circumstances should children be allowed to work on the farms, but instead be sent to school.
He said that apart from that there must be certifications, traceability of all cocoa farmers, the number of hectares of land they grow cocoa on, the type of cocoa crop they produce , as well as the number of children they have.
The president of the association added that the association is poised to lead the country to regain its lost glory in the committee of cocoa producing countries in the world, noting that in the 1960s, Nigeria produced 590,000 tons. metric and cocoa and was judged the second in the world.
He said: “When the oil boom came, cocoa was relegated. In the past two months, cocoa has shown to be the second highest after oil in terms of currencies. This means that the exchange deficit that we are experiencing can only be solved by the cocoa economy. At present, what cocoa brings to Nigeria is next to oil. When you look at the percentage, it shows the potential.
“In the 1960s, we were the number two largest cocoa producers in the world. In 1960, we were producing 590,000 metric tons, and with that potential, the regional government was run by that money.
“In Ghana today, each farmer reaps $400 per tonne of cocoa after the price crash. Same in Ivory Coast, and that’s what we think Nigeria needs to start collecting which is the Living Income Differentia (LID), and refusing to collect it makes us lose 60 billion naira a year.
“It is necessary to follow the international practice of cocoa production in the world. This portends that our farmers must begin to eliminate child labor. Apart from that, there must be certifications. We must start now to provide traceability of all farmers producing cocoa, the number of hectares they produce must be known, the type of cocoa they produce and the number of children they have. It’s sustainability.
In his analysis, the Chairman of the House Committee on Colleges, Universities and Agricultural Institutions, Munil Uba Danabundi, said that the policies that have been adopted on the production and sustainability of the cocoa economy must be supported by legislation, adding that the problem with outstanding policies has been the issue of implementation.
“The policies have been very good in this country, but the implementation has been something else and we have had a lot of challenges there. Cocoa farming is one of the sustainable investments that will give employment to the booming young Nigerians. We are no longer going to leave policies at ministry level unsupported by law,” he said.