Cocoa production gets a boost as Ijugbere Plantation takes off in Ondo State
As part of efforts at boosting the tree crop subsector of the Agric value chain, the Ondo State Government has established another Cocoa Plantation at Ijugbere in Owo Local Government Area.
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.
Leading some members of his cabinet on tour of the project sites, the State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotomi Akeredolu, SAN, reiterated the commitment of the present administration to leverage on the Agricultural potentials of the state at ensuring that youths are productively engaged for them to begin to live a better life.
“Our five cardinal programme is clear and job creation is topmost and 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”, he said.
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 has eighteen months for fruiting.
While appreciating 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 and beyond, Governor Akeredolu said Ondo State would soon take its rightful position in quality Cocoa production.
“President Muhammadu has always felt that there must be a Cocoa revolution so that we can be where we used to be as the leading Cocoa Producer in the world.
“So, 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. I say well-done to the Ministry of Agriculture”, he said.
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 transported to nearby markets.
The Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture, Otunba Gboyega Adefarati said the multiplier effects of the agricultural policy of the Oluwarotimi Akeredolu Administration would soon begin to impact on the socio-economic development of the Sunshine State.
Also the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Agric Business, Pastor Akin Olotu said the state was already making some outstanding progress in tree crop production.