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PIND, CRIN certify 14 nursery operators

By Kanayo Umeh, Abuja
28 November 2022   |   4:05 am
The Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) and the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) have certified 14 cocoa seed nursery operators at the CRIN’s headquarters in Ibadan, Oyo State.

The Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) and the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) have certified 14 cocoa seed nursery operators at the CRIN’s headquarters in Ibadan, Oyo State.

PIND’s Advocacy Manager, Chuks Ofulue, who represented the Executive Director, Tunji Idowu, at the event, said, PIND found many missed opportunities within the cocoa value chain. “So, we began partnering with the sector’s actors and CRIN to address some of the challenges.”

PIND and CRIN formed a partnership in 2021 to strengthen the market system for producing and distributing quality seeds in the cocoa sector and improve access to improved seedlings for cocoa farmers in the Niger Delta region.

One major part of the partnership activities was the selection and training of seed nursery operators on best nursery management practices. Following the training, PIND supported 14 seed entrepreneurs to establish seed nurseries and produce over 100,000 seedlings supplied commercially to farmers across the region.

The CRIN’s Executive Director, Dr. Patrick Adebola, said the Institute was happy to partner with PIND, as it believed it was a partnership that would yield positive results.

“We partnered PIND to train the nursery operators because we believe that if we have a request for seedlings that we cannot meet, we can easily direct farmers to the certified nursery operators to fill the gaps. Apart from servicing the farmers within their locality, the nursery operators can also serve as contractors to CRIN.”  

The Director of CRIN’s Cocoa Programme, Dr. Abiodun Adedeji, compared the success of the PIND/CRIN partnership with a similar programme the Institute ran between 2015 and 2019.

The Institute produced and distributed 601,000 cocoa pods to farmers only to find out that lesser than 10 per cent of those pods were converted to seedlings for expanding cocoa production in Nigeria.

He said, “If we had gotten this kind of platform (trained and certified nursery operators), we would have worked with this team to produce seedlings and distribute them to real cocoa farmers who would have yielded a better result.”

The certified nursery operators, selected from Abia, Cross River, Edo, and Ondo states, expressed their happiness for being part of the maiden cocoa seed entrepreneurship programme and pledged to abide by the standards and protocols laid down by CRIN. 

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