The National President of the Cocoa Farmers Association Of Nigeria (CFAN), Adeola Adegoke, has stated that approximately 450,000 to 500,000 farmers are directly involved in cocoa production in Nigeria.
Adegoke made this disclosure during an exclusive interview with AgroNigeria during the weekend adding that besides these farmers, their families are also engaged in cocoa farming, making cocoa production a significant contributor to the country’s agricultural sector.
In his words: “The number of cocoa farmers today is estimated to be between 450,000 and 500,000, and they are closely linked to cocoa production. Additionally, their families are also actively involved. This underscores the substantial contribution that Nigerians are making through cocoa farming.
“It is evident that Nigeria stands to gain significantly from cocoa production. Presently, cocoa is cultivated primarily in about 14 cocoa-producing states, with as many as 22 states engaged in cocoa production. Numerous communities in these cocoa-producing regions rely on cocoa for their livelihoods, processing, purchasing, and exportation activities.”
Speaking further, he said the Cocoa industry generates the highest foreign exchange aside from crude oil.
“We will also agree that as of today statistically aside from the oil and aside from the rear fertilizer, it has continued to give us the highest FX generation.”
“This also shows that cocoa has continued to play a very pivotal role as far as Nigeria’s cocoa economy is concerned.
“When you look at the value of cocoa, the investment of cocoa is close to about 500 billion. If you look at that in comparison with other industries, cocoa is very important.
He revealed that Nigeria currently produces about 350000 metric crops, while Ghana, and Ivory Coast, are 800,000 metric and 2.2 million metric crop, respectively.
He said: “Nigeria is not doing well to leverage on our earlier potential that we were able to successfully build the tallest cocoa warehouse in the whole of West Africa.
He however noted that Nigeria would achieve its potential in cocoa if adequate fund is invested and stakeholders could collaborate and work hand in hand.
“I think we still have the potential of moving forward by our resource collaboration with stakeholders to make sure that we change the narrative and try to bring more investment to the sector where our farmers will have higher productivity and production, where the livelihood of our farmers will be transformed, the value chain will be strengthened, and the whole of our cocoa can be fixable. He added.