Monday, 1 January 2018

NEPC STRESSES ON THE NEED TO PROCESS HIGH QUALITY COCOA FOR EXPORT

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) is set to address inadequacies and raise awareness of farmers on processing high-quality cocoa for export.

The Executive Director of NEPC, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, stated this in Ikom Local Council Area, Cross River State, during a two-day Cross River Cocoa Stakeholders’ forum and mini exhibition, organised by the NEPC, Calabar Smart office, in collaboration with Calabar Chamber of Commerce (CALCCIMA), Farming World and Rural Development Initiative (FAWARD) and Cocoa Association of Nigeria. He noted that the Cocoa value chain for export is a necessity for Cross River.

He said the future position for cocoa in the global market is on increased demand with specific preference for organic cocoa. He said Cross River should embrace the share of favorable global market by increasing its production of cocoa.

The NEPC boss said: “The future outlook for cocoa in global market is that of increased demand for cocoa and specific preference for organic cocoa, which incidentally commands a higher price in the international market as the demand continues to rise. There is the need for concerted effort to increase the production of cocoa to partake in the share of favourable global market for cocoa.”

Speaking on the theme “Developing the Cross River State Cocoa Value Chain for Export”, the Trade Promotion Adviser, Calabar office, Mr. Emmanuel Etim, said to achieve this feat, cocoa production in the state needs an urgent intervention through the creation of an achievable roadmap and proper processing and packaging for export.

The President of CALCCIMA, Efa Imoke, whose paper was presented by his Secretary, Mr. Ken Aim-Itta, also spoke on the roadmap for cocoa development in the state. He urged Cross Rivarians to take advantage of the natural potential and utilise the land by investing in agriculture.

In their remarks, the Executive Director of FAWARD, Mr. Henry Etta, and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Cocoa Development, Mr. Oscar Ofuka, both encouraged farmers to maintain records of expenses to be able to ascertain their profit. (GUARDIAN)

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