In a bid of continuing the sustainability of good quality Cocoa seedlings to enhance Cocoa production in Ogun State.
The Ogun State Government Distributed the new T series of good quality Cocoa seedlings to Farmers free of Charge. This commenced in Itele, Ijebu east local government area of Ogun State on the 28th of July, 2022. This is a symbolic flag off of 2022 free distribution of seedlings to farmers in Ogun State.
At the event, the 10,000 Cocoa seedlings were given free of Charge to over 3000 farmers in Ijebu east alone as a start to meeting up with the target of distributing 100,000 Cocoa seedlings.
The Commissioner for Agriculture; Dr. Adeola Odedina, while presenting the seedlings explained that the Prince Dapo Abiodun led administration was determined to boost the production of cocoa in the state hence its collaboration with Tulip Cocoa Processing Company and Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria(CRIN) to distribute the seedlings.
Odedina said the government carried out soil evaluation across the state, to enable farmers know where is best suitable to grow cocoa, saying this information is available in the ministry for interested farmers. The commissioner also noted that seedlings when planted would mature in 18months as against the old variety that took up to 3 to 5years to mature.
“The implication of this is that if a young farmer decides to go into cocoa cultivation with the new variety of cocoa seedlings, in about two years he would have become a successful cocoa farmer,” he said. He explained that in Spite of the fact that the improved seedlings are quite expensive, the governor directed that the seedlings be made available to farmers free of charge.
Speaking in an interview, the Sustainability Manager, Tulip, Dr. Taiwo Osun, commended the state government for encouraging youths and farmers to go into cocoa farming. Adding that this step will act as a viable option for those without means of livelihood. He said the state government has been partnering with cocoa processing industries through training, advisory services and distribution of high-yielding improved seedlings that has increased the company’s production capacity.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, the chairman, Agbegbemi Cooperative Farmers Union; Mr Adegoke Rasheed applauded the state government’s gesture, adding that the free seedlings will go a long way improving cocoa production in the state.