By CrossRiverWatch Admin
The Cross River State Government has said that it will soon unveil a policy to mandate 70 percent local consumption of Cocoa produced.
This will compliment the NGN7 billion Cocoa processing plant being constructed at Ikom in central Cross River said the Special Adviser to the state Governor on Cocoa Development, Mr. Oscar Ofuka on the sidelines of the First International Cocoa Summit organised by the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment reports VON.
Mr. Ofuka said the state has planted over 5,000 hectares of Cocoa in an estate and said that the government was also supporting local Cocoa farmers in the state to boost production, which according to him will enable Cross River overtake other states in Cocoa production.
“We are already trying to make it a policy that, school children in the state will be fed with cocoa related products.
“We have achieved so much on cocoa production. Before now, cocoa was relegated to the background. We have been able to raise nursery to expand our cocoa farms.
“We have government cocoa estate with about 5,000 hectares planted already. The state government has made it as a policy to open new cocoa farms across the state.
“We have been exporting cocoa all this while but now, government has come up with a policy that will encourage local consumption of about 70 per cent of the cocoa produced in the state. This is to ensure that jobs are created,” said Mr. Ofuka.
He continued: “Cross River is the second largest producer of cocoa in the country with Ondo State as the largest producer but we want to overtake it.”
He called on private investors and other relevant stakeholders to invest in cocoa production in the state, promising them of an enabling environment for their investments.