C’River state set to produce 500,000 tonnes of cocoa annually

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The Cross River Government is ready to produce 500,000 tonnes of cocoa annually.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Cocoa Development, Mr Oscar Ofuka, made this known on Tuesday while inaugurating a 57-man State Cocoa Allocation Committee in Calabar.

He said that Gov. Ben Ayade had been doing so much to ensure that the state takes its proper place as the number one cocoa-producing state in Nigeria.

“Right now, we are number two in the country but we intend to raise our output to 500,000 tonnes, particularly now that we have a modern cocoa processing plant at Ikom, ‘’ Oscar said.

He advised the committee to ensure a transparent and equitable allocation of Cocoa Plots and to ensure that the government’s Cocoa Estates were maximally managed.

“Your part in this policy drive is to ensure that government-owned Cocoa Estates are managed maximally through a transparent and equitable cocoa allocation, ‘’ Oscar said.

He noted that members of the committee were carefully selected to take care of the interest of all stakeholders in the cocoa sector.

Oscar urged the members to show interest and to execute their assignment with the interest of the state at heart.

He outlined the terms of reference of the committee to include: to collate, screen and shortlist qualified farmers; to produce and submit a comprehensive list of successful applicants; and to ensure that they pay appropriate lease fees.

Oscar said the committee should also ensure that 70 per cent of the total hectares confirmed allocated be reserved and allocated to the Landlord Communities.

He advised members of the committee to shun any act that could cause internal wrangling and disrupt the good intention of the government.

“We are all aware of what happened during the past allocation committee exercise which robbed the state of a huge sum of Internally Generated Revenue.  We do not want a repeat of that.

“You will be given all the necessary support to succeed because your success as a committee is the success of the state in the cocoa sector.

“We must do everything possible to complement the efforts of the state governor in moving this sector forward, ‘’ he said.

Speaking on behalf of the committee, Mr Ndoma Akpet, thanked the state government for finding them worthy to contribute their quota to the service of the state.

NAN.

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