- Cross River Targets 500,000MT Annual Cocoa Production
The Cross River State Government says it is set to boost its revenue profile with 500,000 metric tonnes of cocoa production annually.
This disclosure was made on Thursday in Calabar by the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Prof. Anthony Eneji, during a press briefing.
Eneji said that cocoa had lately become goldmine, adding that the state government had concluded the arrangement to maximise its potential to shore up its revenue.
He said, “Cocoa is one of our goldmines and our joint goal is to expand cocoa production and achieve our target of 500,000 metric tonnes yearly.
“We are really working on that, and even if we meet half of this target, which is 250,000MT, it will take care of the projected revenue of the state annually.”
The commissioner said that the state would sustain and improve production by replanting and rehabilitating government-owned cocoa estates using the smallholder cocoa allocation scheme.
Also speaking, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Cocoa Development, Mr. Oscar Ofuka, said that over 13, 000 hectares of land had been allocated to farmers for the 2016 farming season at the cocoa estates in Ikom and Etung local government areas.
He stated that the government was committed to achieving the cocoa revolution in the state, adding that the state had the potential to become the highest producer of cocoa in Nigeria.
“We are doing everything possible to become the number one cocoa producing state in the country. Our number two position is not acceptable to the government. Therefore, the governor has directed that we work harder to becoming the highest cocoa producer in Nigeria,” he said.
The special adviser warned those working against the government’s interest to desist from such act as government was ready to invoke relevant laws against them.
“We will prosecute all those working against the state’s economic interest,” he said.