Cross River to crush 30,000 tonnes of cocoa annually

Governor Ben Ayade

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross Rivers

Cross River Government has set a target of crushing 30,000 tons of cocoa annually beginning from 2018/2019 Farming season, Mr Oscar Ofuka, Special Adviser to the Governor on Cocoa Development, has said.

Ofuka said this on Wednesday this in Calabar during a guided tour of a cocoa garden in the premises of Cross River Broadcasting Corporation (CRBC).

Ofuka, while briefing some top government functionaries and top management staff of the corporation, said that the move was to enhance government’s effort at diversifying the state’s economy.

“This is just part of what we are doing in ensuring that the state achieves self-sufficiency in revenue generation.

“The governor has always emphasised on the need for us to diversify the economy from over-dependence on oil. It is our belief that with cocoa, Cross River can do without oil.

“As the second largest producer of cocoa in Nigeria, our target is to crush 30,000 cocoa annually starting with the 2018/19 farming season.

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“Already, we have acquired over 380,000 hectares of land and planted over three million cocoa seedlings in Akamkpa Local Government Area.

“We are in the era of cocoa revolution in the state. What we have done today in CRBC, had been carried out in several other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and we are planting more and more,” he said.

Responding, Mrs Theresa Essien, the General Manager, CRBC commended the special adviser for the initiative, adding that, it was a clarion call for members of staff to go into agriculture.

“This is marvellous; when he requested for a small portion to plant cocoa, I did not really take him serious but we can see that what he planted just few months back, is beginning to bear fruit.

“I really commend the special adviser and I am using this opportunity to advise members of staff and other Cross River people to see farming as part of our lives and use it to grow ourselves and our economy,” she said.

The cocoa garden covers about one and half hectares and some of the plant have begun to bear fruits while others were still being nursed.

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