Sunday, May 25, 2014 5:53 pm
According to Mr Felix Kehis, a director in the ministry, Federal Ministry of Agriculture was working in collaboration with the Tree Crop Unit of the state’s ministry of agriculture to boost cocoa production.
He expressed concern that the quantity of cocoa produced in the state in 2013 was not encouraging.
He said that modalities were being worked out by the ministry to ensure that this year’s roll out of the crop was encouraging to attract young farmers to the sector.
“We are currently working out the number of farmers that would benefit from cocoa production.
“The new strategy we are going to adopt is to get the youths involved in the business of cocoa production.
“And we know the language the youths like to hear is to discontinue the use of cutlasses and hoes in farming. We are working towards achieving this,” he said.
The director said that due to the long gestation period of cocoa seedlings, the youths would be given some supportive crops to cultivate, pending the maturity of cocoa seedlings.
He said that cocoa seedlings would be planted mainly in Delta North and Delta Central Senatorial Districts, as they would thrive better in those areas.
Kehis said the ministry would utilise old cocoa plantations in the state, especially those located in Nsukwa in Aniocha South Local Government Area.
He added that other locations would to be identified to cultivate the export crop.