During an event marking the 2nd Annual Cocoa Festival, organized by the Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria, Engr. Ikechukwu Emetu, the Deputy Governor of Abia State, reassured the state’s residents about the unwavering dedication of Dr. Alex Otti’s led administration to revitalize the agricultural sector.
The festival, held in Abuja, is an annual celebration of the relentless commitment and hard work of Nigerian farmers in advancing the cocoa industry and its value chain.
The two-day event enjoyed massive participation from diverse stakeholder communities, including Nigerian cocoa agribusinesses, farmers, researchers, and quality control specialists.
Engr. Emetu expressed his gratitude to Lutheran World Relief, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and representatives of the Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria for their pivotal roles in organizing the symposium. He emphasized the importance of fully utilizing cocoa farming’s potential by making optimal use of its primary products, including animal feed, chocolate, cocoa butter, cocoa powder, pectin, and potash.
In his address, he highlighted that Abia State possesses a favorable tropical climate and a vast expanse of arable land, ideal for commercial cocoa cultivation. This positions the state to meet the high demands for cocoa and its products, both domestically and internationally, throughout the value chain.
According to him, “Cocoa is currently grown in large quantities in five local government areas of the state. In our administration’s commitment to re-engineering and diversifying the economic base of the state, alleviating poverty, creating employment, and developing new cocoa plantations, we sponsored research, and the findings show that cocoa can be abundantly produced in 16 local government areas of our state.”
While concluding his remarks, he assured stakeholders that Governor Alex Otti recognizes the importance of cocoa and reaffirms the state government’s commitment to providing the necessary support for the expansion of cocoa farming within Abia State and throughout Nigeria.