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Published On: Mon, Sep 22nd, 2014

Cocoa crop to multiply in three years, says Adesina

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By Mohammed Kandi

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, has said Nigeria’s cocoa production is expected to more than double within three years after farmers were supplied with better-yielding seeds, A statement by Tony Ohaeri, the Director of Information in the ministry recalled that the Federal government had given farmers hybrid seedlings to boost yields fivefold. “In another 2 1/2 to 3 years you’re going to see a huge bump in the production of cocoa,” Adesina said. “We expect that within a couple of years you will see that jump to 800,000 metric tons a year.”

The minister further estimated production at 350, 000 tons adding that “We can afford to lose to the Elephants of Ivory Coast and the Black Stars of Ghana in soccer, but not in cocoa.”  Meanwhile, Nigeria is the world’s fourth-largest cocoa producer behind Ivory Coast, Ghana and Indonesia, according to the London-based International Cocoa Organization. Nigeria produced 240,000 tons this season, according to the organization.

Ivory Coast produced 1.73 million tons of cocoa in the current season while Ghana produced 920,000 tons, according to the International Cocoa Organization. Cocoa futures traded in Londonjumped 16 percent this year to 2,005 pounds ($3,269) a ton today on the Liffe exchanges.

“Nigeria also is expanding rice production as part of a government drive to reduce annual food imports of more than $10 billion,”Adesina said.

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