The Kwara State Deputy Governor who also doubles as the Chairman, Kwara State Cocoa Development Committee, Mr Kayode Alabi has today flagged off the distribution of cocoa seedlings to farmers for the year 2020 planting season.
In his keynote address, Mr Kayode Alabi reiterated the importance of cocoa to the Economy of Nigeria while also noting that the cocoa industry is Nigeria’s second largest foreign exchange earner, an industry that also creates over two million jobs within the Industry’s value chain.
He stated that the AbdulRazaq administration is encouraging value addition through local processing and encouraging local consumption of cocoa products.
Mr Alabi recalled that the Kwara state government, through the ministry of Agriculture, nurtured over fifty thousand cocoa seedlings for the 2020 planting season. Continuing, he said the government is distributing seedlings free of charge to farmers as palliatives to cushion the effect of the pandemic on farmers.
Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Muritala Olanrewaju stated that the main objective of the program is to redress the situation where Kwara farmers migrate to other states to cultivate cocoa.
He commended the administration of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for changing the narrative, especially in the empowerment of the farmers in all agricultural activities.
The flag-off ceremony, which held at the Ministry of Agriculture headquarters, Ilorin, had in attendance representatives of cocoa farmers from across the sixteen local government areas of Kwara state.
The high point of the event was the symbolic presentation of cocoa seedlings to the farmers by the Deputy Governor.178