From Judex Okoro-, Calabar
Special Adviser to Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River on Cocoa Development and Control, Dr. Oscar Ofuka, has disclosed that the state has raised about six million improved variety cocoa seedlings to boost production capacity.
Speaking shortly with journalists shortly after being conferred with a chieftaincy title of Ntui Nturi Eji 1 of Ejagam kingdom Efun Efun Afon Ndume- Nne (meaning, hero of development) by Etung traditional rulers council at the weekend in Bendeghe Ekiem, Ofuka said Nigeria would take the lead of being the highest cocoa producing nation from Cote, I’vore when it has to do with cocoa production.
He said: “The six million improved variety seedlings would surely boost production capacity of the cocoa in the state and the nation at large.
“This stride can only be achieved when more people returned to the cocoa farming to turn around the nation’s fortune.”
According to him, with investment in the Cocoa value chain, poverty would have become a thing of the past and called for investment in the Cocoa.
He added that it is the only way the state would change the narratives of over dependence on monthly allocation from the federation account.
In his remarks, Paramount Ruler, Etung ,Ntufam Dr. Oru Ojong, and members of traditional rulers council stated that the chieftaincy title conferred on Ofuka is in line with the peoples culture of honoring and elevating any worthy son that has distinguished himself in his field of endeavor so that they can do more.
He said government has been very resilient in the task of reviving the moribund government cocoa estates in the state.
He commended the government’s efforts in not only reviving cocoa farming, but its commitment in ensuring that the state becomea the leading producer of cocoa in Nigeria.