BY AYODELE ABERE in Ado Ekiti*
Ondo state Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, on Sunday, led some members of his cabinet on tour of some Cocoa Plantation project sites at Ijugbere in Owo Local Government Area.
The project is part of the efforts of the Akeredolu administration at boosting the tree crop subsector of the Agric value chain. Akeredolu said his administration is prepared to return the state to where it used to be as the leading producer of Cocoa.
The project to be on two thousand hectares of land in which thirty-five hectares have been planted with improved cocoa seedlings also has a seedling production centre that has over four hundred and fifty thousand seedlings ready to feed the plantation and for distribution to new generation of young cocoa farmers across the state.
The governor assured that the Cocoa Revolution Project of the present administration would be worth investing on, in view of the fact that its improved seedlings have eighteen months for fruiting.
He appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for his interest at supporting the State Government on its agricultural policies aimed at creating jobs for the unemployed and to ensure food security for the state.
Akeredolu said “our five cardinal programs is clear and job creation is there and we say we are going to do that through agriculture
“This project is a major one for us. We use to be the leading Cocoa Producer in at least, Africa, if not the world. But something had happened to us in Nigeria and our fortune has really dwindled
“And President Muhammadu has always felt that there must be a Cocoa revolution so that we can really try as much as possible struggle to be where we use to be as the leading Cocoa Producer in the world
“So, when he gave his words and he’s to come here for Cocoa revolution, we decided to look for a site and we got this Ijugbere area so that we can have several hectares of Cocoa plantation. We are looking at the possibility of bringing the President to see. We have been to the nursery and it’s well done. ”
Addressing people in the various farm settlements on the road leading to the plantation who trooped out to welcome him, Governor Akeredolu promised that work would soon begin on the farm road so as to make their farm produce easily accessible to the nearest markets.