We want to derive maximum return on cocoa, coffee, oil palm – Gov Otu


Governor Bassey Otu of Cross River State has stated that his administration wants to derive maximum return on their advantage from the preponderance of cocoa, coffee and oil palm.

He said the state has enjoyed “unchallenged comparative advantage in the country.”

He stated this when he inaugurated a multi-stakeholder committee to draw up a development framework for the optimisation of oil palm, cocoa, and coffee value chains in the state.

He said they have carefully come up with this model of having key stakeholders achieve their dream in an organised and cooperative manner.

“We have taken this option because of the belief that while the crops are different, your managerial and active experience from your respective backgrounds will complement each other for the greatest benefit of the state.”

Otu further said, “The initiative is also to minimise duplication of effort in certain areas of production, while at the same time avoiding the tendency of reaching out to the same technical partners for support, as it is more likely under an alternative multiple committee structure.”

The governor highlighted the committee’s terms of reference to include the following: develop a 7-year strategic plan that outlines strategies that enhance cocoa, coffee, and oil palm cultivation, productivity, and quality; design Value Chain policies for cocoa and oil palm in such a manner that it encourages direct investment, supports farmers and addresses market dynamics.

According to the governor, it was also to mobilise resources for the plan to establish six new cocoa estates in Cross River State, which must be in line with climate and biodiversity considerations; and, to evaluate existing laws related to cocoa and oil palm production to make necessary adjustments to promote growth.

He said agriculture is the hope of the state, adding that his administration has demonstrated in many ways, particularly with 3.5 million oil palms already earmarked for planting in this fiscal year, as well as the launch of N30billion commercial agriculture development fund, called Project Grow.

“We have also commenced the extension of the Smallholder cocoa development scheme for the development of new estates and the regeneration of existing ones. It is my fervent belief that your inauguration today will expand the scope of our vision,” he added.

Committee chairman, Prof Susan Ohen assured that her committee would work assiduously towards drawing a strategic plan and policy framework for the optimisation of oil palm, cocoa and coffee value chains in the state

Post a Comment