Edo farmers urged to embrace good practices, food safety measures
Farmers in Edo State, especially those cultivating economic tree crops such as cocoa, have been advised to embrace good agricultural practices and food safety measures to make their produce acceptable internationally.
The National President of the Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN), Mr Adeola Adegoke, made the call while distributing free copies of a The Cocoa GAP Handbook too smallholder cocoa farmers in the state last week.
The training handbook was produced by CFAN, with the support of the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), EBAFOSA Nigeria, Harvest-field Industries Limited, Federal Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and other stakeholders.
“Our collective focus is to increase Nigerian cocoa productivity and production, ensure quality assurance of our cocoa bean through premium cocoa production practices, eradication of child labour, fighting deforestation through the practicing of cocoa agro-forestry, upscaling traceability and certification in our cocoa supply chain and responsible application of pesticides,” Adegoke said.
Other measures include MRLs reduction and enlightening cocoa farmers on nature-based solutions and smart cocoa practices to fight climate change across the 14 major cocoa-producing states in Nigeria.
He said distributing and application of the knowledge in the cocoa GAP handbook across the entire cocoa-producing states, and Edo State in particular, would fast-track Nigeria’s path to achieving 100 per cent premium cocoa production with 500,000 metric tonnes targets and sustainable practices in the cocoa supply chain by 2024 and would make Nigeria the highest cocoa producer by 2027.
He said: “We are currently collaborating with Harvest-field Industries Limited, CRIN, EBAFOSA Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and other stakeholders on how to increase cocoa and forestry practices to improve transparency across the cocoa supply chain.
He added that the need to improve the living income of smallholder cocoa farmers, vis-a-vis their standard of living, led us to the partnership with the Federal Government on the need for Nigeria to join Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana in the collection of $400 Living Income Differential (LID) for smallholder cocoa farmers of Nigeria as a matter of priority.
“We are happy to inform our smallholder cocoa farmers that we are moving forward on the issue of the LID, being championed by CFAN in Nigeria.
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