The Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN) has disclosed readiness for the launch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture(USDA) Food for Progress Traceability and Resilience in Agriculture and Cocoa Ecosystems (TRACE) Project in Nigeria coupled with the 2nd National Cocoa Festival event, themed: “Upscaling Nigeria Cocoa Sustainability Beyond 2025”.
The event, organized by CFAN in collaboration with the USDA Food for progress program and its trace project, implemented by Lutheran world relief and other industry partners, is set to hold on the 18th & 19th October, 2023, at Abuja Continental Hotel.
This was made known in a statement signed by the National President of the Association, Adeola Adegoke, and Mr. Nene Akwetey, TRACE Chief of Party, Lutheran World Relief, and made available to AgroNigeria at the weekend.
According to the statement released, the event would enable stakeholders from the supply chain to strategize and develop various ways to make Nigeria’s cocoa industry sustainable to come ahead of other cocoa producing countries and also unveil USDA food projects in Nigeria.
Part of the statement reads: “This year’s event theme, Upscaling Nigeria Cocoa Sustainability Beyond 2025, will address the prevalent socio-economic issues harming the sustainability of Nigeria’s cocoa industry.
“Local and international cocoa industry stakeholders attending the festival will engage in important dialogue to devise strong, pragmatic approaches that can move the sector forward towards sustainability and return Nigeria back to being a leading cocoa-producing origin country as it was in the 60’s.
“On the second day of the festival, 19 October, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food for Progress Program will launch its TRACE project with the implementing lead organization, Lutheran World Relief, and other partners.
“The word TRACE connotes Traceability and Resilience in Agriculture and Cocoa Ecosystems of Nigeria. This project will be a game changer for Nigeria’s cocoa industry and its cocoa farmers, buyers, processors, exporters, chocolate makers and other stakeholders.”
USDA Food for Progress Program helps developing countries and emerging democracies modernize and strengthen their agricultural sectors, as U.S. agricultural commodities are donated to recipient countries and sold on the local market.
“Food for Progress has two principal objectives: to improve agricultural productivity and to expand trade of agricultural products. the proceeds are used to support agricultural, economic, or infrastructure development programs.” It added.
Meanwhile, it was revealed that Nigeria is fourth in cocoa production after Ivory Coast, Ghana and Indonesia and is the third largest exporter of cocoa after Ivory Coast and Ghana, covering 6.5 share of global production with about 350,000 MTS of cocoa beans and with an average production per hectare at 350-400kg, noting that Nigerian cocoa has excellent qualities, such as good bean count, low slatey, low mold, and strong aromatic and smooth flavor, making the industry desirable in the global cocoa market.
Attending the event are the Honorable Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Alhaji Abubakar Kyari; Honorable Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment Dr.Doris Uzoka-Anite; Royal fathers led by Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja 11; Ooni of Ife, Grand Patron of the Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN); International Cocoa Organization [ICCO] group led by Executive Director Michel Arrion; Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) led by Executive Director Dr. Patrick Adebola; and Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN) led by the National President Mr. M.O Abolarinwa.