Our Reporter: STEVE AGBOTA firstname.lastname@example.org 08033302331
The Federal Government has projected that Nigeria will rake about N202 billion revenue ($1.3 billion) from exports of cocoa before the end of 2014. The targeted revenue from the commodity represents an increase of 45 per cent, as the product harvest continues to enjoy steady rise.
Speaking last week at the Nigerian Cocoa Value Addition Summit 2014 in Abuja, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, said the production output of cocoa has grown from 250,000 metric tonnes to 370,000 metric tonnes in the last three years of the implementation of Cocoa Value Chain.
He stated that the production of cocoa would be scaled up to 600,000 metric tonnes by 2016, adding that it generated $1.2 billion in 2013 as against $900 million it generated in 2012 while the commodity is expected to rake in about $1.3 billion in 2014.
Adesina said his ministry was planning to set aside about N100 billion as Cocoa Development Fund, aimed at making Nigeria a global powerhouse in cocoa production. He explained that the fund would be raised through public-private partnership to transform the sector.
As part of new initiatives to boost the production of cocoa in the country, he hinted that the Nigerian Cocoa Research Institute (NCRI) had released eight new cocoa hybrids with the Federal Government doling out 1.4 million cocoa pods to farmers in cocoa producing states in the country.
The Minister, however, explained that, “the activities in the cocoa sub-sector presently are uncoordinated as Nigerian cocoa loses value in the global market since it is not yet branded. The absence of marketing institutions around cocoa sector has led to uncertainties in the Nigerian cocoa market, which for decades has crippled the system.”
He added: “We are going to fix this problem once and for all. To fill the institutional void the dissolution of Cocoa Marketing Board created and to allow us to compete with our neighbouring countries, a government-backed institution called Cocoa Corporation of Nigeria will be established. Government will not run this corporation because it will be private sector driven. But it is going to be public sector- enabled.”
Meanwhile, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, said the Federal Government is intensifying the implementation of expansion projects for cocoa processing and manufacturing in order to claim a greater share of the annual $200 billion global market for finished goods made from cocoa. According to him, with the repositioning, Nigeria would extract immense value out of the cocoa industry.
He added: “The total global value of exporting raw cocoa is approximately $10 billion a year; the total value from chocolates alone, all made from cocoa, is over $100 billion a year, while the total value of all finished goods made from cocoa is estimated to be as high as $200 billion a year, all drawing from the same $10 billion raw cocoa beans produced.
Source : SunOnline