Gov. AbdulRahaman AbdulRazaq of Kwara has urged the Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN) to adhere to the recommended chemicals of international standard to avert rejection of exported cocoa products.
AbdulRazaq, who was represented by his Deputy, Mr Kayode Alabi, made the call on Thursday at the 12th Annual General Meeting of CAN at the Kwara Agro Mall in Ilorin.
He assured that the present administration would support farmers in the cocoa industry by providing enabling environment to financial institutions for data in cocoa plantation, cocoa cooperative societies, processors and manufacturers in the year 2020.
The National President of the association, Mr Sayina Riman, called for dialogue among the stakeholders for sustainable growth and adherence to policy initiatives and implementation to remove impediments to dual exchange that is unfavourable to export of commodities in Nigeria.
Riman said that CAN would sustain collaboration with CBN, NIRSAL, Federal Ministries of Agriculture, Industry, Trade and Investment, and other critical stakeholders to develop value chain as well as access to single digit interest rate of Anchor Borrowers Scheme.
Also speaking, the state Chairman of CAN, Mr Ogunbiyi Olatunbosun, noted that apart from petroleum, cocoa is next on the line among the list of revenue accruals to the government’ with over 30 per cent.
Olatunbosun expressed optimism that with the support of government to farmers and cocoa industry, the state would soon exceed the marginal three per cent in ranking among cocoa producing states in the country.
Other members, Mallam Kabir Alhasan and Mr Dada Oluwole, described the programme as an eye-opener which they said would boost the status of Kwara as leading producer of Cocoa in Nigeria.
They also appealed to government at all levels to give necessary support to cocoa farmers in the state.