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Ondo State Government has trained over 200 youths of the state on how to deal in cocoa business as farmers and business managers in the value chain. The trainees were tagged ‘new breed cocoa farmers.’
The government said the training was part of the efforts to maintain the number one position in the area of cocoa production in the country by addressing some challenges facing the cocoa sub-sector.
Specifically, the programme was organised by the Ondo State Cocoa Revolution Project and held at the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo in Owo Local Government Area of the state .
Speaking at the training, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu on Agriculture, Mr Akin Olotu stated that the programme for the new breed cocoa farmers for the model cocoa farm in Ijugbere-Owo, was aimed at regaining the lost glory on cocoa value chain in the state by improving quality and quantity.
According to Olotu, the state government, through the Cocoa Revolution Project was set to make the state the leading producer of cocoa in the world by conceptualising a new model in cocoa farming.
He said, “ This administration is conscious of the fact that we have to bring up our younger ones because they are the future of this state and that is why we conceptualised the idea of having an estate approach in cocoa production for the trainees.
“Governor Akeredolu has given approval for the procurement and sourcing the best plantain varieties coming from IITA in Ibadan. The plantain is there for them in order to make some money.
“The government is looking at the situation whereby we have young, dynamic and vibrant millionaires that are cocoa farmers in the state.”
Similarly, in his remarks, the Chairman, Sunshine Cocoa Farmers Organisation, Mr. Julius Ogundare, said the programme was meant to make Ondo State the leader in the world of cocoa production.
“This training is very important, germane and fundamental for the trainees because it would open their eyes to things that they do not know before on cocoa production and processing.”
Source; Punch Newspapers