Gov Adeleke Markets Osun Cocoa Potentials, Meets Chocolate Producers and Stakeholders

Gov Adeleke Markets Osun Cocoa Potentials, Meets Chocolate Producers and Stakeholders

OSOGBO– 28/02/2024– Osunstate.gov.ng

The Executive Governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke has urged investors to tap into the potentials of cocoa in the state, saying that his administration is already taking steps in addressing past challenges that stunted growth of the sector.

Addressing a global audience of investors in the cocoa sector in London, the United Kingdom, on Wednesday, Governor Adeleke noted that Osun brand of cocoa is highly sought after by end users providing investors with a guarantee of returns for their investments.

Governor Adeleke, who pointed out that Osun is a major cocoa belt in Nigeria to underscore opportunities, outlined ongoing efforts by his government to expand the production base and unleash the benefits of the sector for both the state and investors.

“Our cocoa is the traditional species which has the best taste in chocolate and other related products. Our brand is therefore much sought after by end users,” Governor Adeleke remarked.

“Our cocoa sector faces several challenges, several of which include the need to expand the production base, ensure entrance of young farmers, ease access to finance, deepen the value chain among others.

“It was in pursuance of the above that I launched the Osun Cocoa Revival Agenda in January this year.

The agenda focuses on assembling stakeholders to design an updated revival implementation plan; get the cocoa industry company in the state running again; put life back into the cocoa farming sub-sector through demonstration of political will; get more investors into the value chain through ease of doing business.

Others include setting up a domestic export terminal in Osun state to ease export process and access to international market; partnering with the Nigerian Railway Corporation for easy of transport; upgrading local infrastructures for farming community; setting up a modified commodity boards to strengthen stakeholders’ finance; develop partnership with financial institutions to support the cocoa farming community;

The Governor also listed the development of relationship with the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) for agric tech and innovations; and establishment of strong partnership with the Cocoa Research Institute for partnership and collaboration engagement.

The Governor said he has directed the state Ministry of Agriculture to establish high yielding cocoa nurseries across the local governments ; prepares an action plan for the rehabilitation of old cocoa plantations in term of facilities and re-plantation; open up new cocoa estates with young farmers; introduce deliberate programme to protect cocoa farms from destructive activities of miners and mining activities.

Describing his cocoa plan as very ambitious, Governor Adeleke said his administration plans to resuscitate the State owned cocoa processing industry at Ede for value chain addition; link the cocoa revival plan with climate agenda, establish
cottage cocoa factories across the state Under an industry cluster agenda among others.

The Governor called on “our business friends in the United Kingdom and Europe as well as North America to partner with us for mutual interest in the cocoa sector. We are widely open to investors who are interested in the value chain of the cocoa sector as well as shareholding in the existing cocoa ventures.

“Your coming to Osun is assured to be very rewarding for many reasons. Our government has enhanced the ease of doing business Osjn through an end to multiple taxation and facilitation of access to land and simplification of the approval system.

“We are open to supporting government to government, government to business, business to business arrangements. We are a willing partner and my team is here to negotiate deals and partnership”, the Governor assured the cocoa conference.

Signed:
Mallam Olawale Rasheed,
Spokesperson to the Osun State Governor

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