By; VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
Nigeria will soon become the number one Cocoa producing country in Africa, says Oscar Ofuka, Special Adviser to the Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade on Cocoa Development.
Presently, Cote D’Ivoire is the number one cocoa producing country in the chart.
This will become practicable following more six million improved variety seedlings raised by cocoa farmers, stakeholders and the Cross River state government.
He stated this while speaking at Bendeghe Ekiem in Etung Local government area of the state after he was conferred with a chieftaincy title by the Etung traditional rulers council.
The improved cocoa variety will boost production capacity of the subsector of agric in the state and the nation at large.
According to him, “with this addition, Nigeria would readily take the lead as the highest cocoa producing nation after from Cote, D’ I’vore”.
Ofuka, said that this stride can only be achieved when more people return to the cocoa plantations to work very hard in turning around the nation’s fortune.
He said that with investment in the Cocoa value chain, poverty would have become a thing of the past and called for investment in the Cocoa value chain describing cocoa as an all-round season economic crop that is very lucrative.
The Special Adviser called on the youths to embrace cocoa farming business because it is very rewarding and capable of making the farmers millionaires.
Calling on the authorities to invest more in cocoa business, Ofuka said there are many value chains in the cocoa business that can profitably engage Nigerian youths.
Paramount Ruler, Etung ,Ntufam Dr. Oru Ojong, said “we decided to honour Ofuka because he has been resilient in reviving the moribund Cocoa estate”.
According to the monarch, “Ofuka single-handedly built and furnished a police station for Bendeghe Ekiem community, and construction of access roads to cocoa plantations were the attributes that endeared Oscar to the traditional rulers council”.
Ofuka in his response lauded the Etung traditional rulers council for the honour done him, noting that “this recognition would spur we to do more to cocoa development and my community.