Cocoa Producer, Dr. Oscar Ofuka has called on government to provide adequate security for cocoa farmers across the country.
Ofuka who is also the Special Adviser to the Cross River State Governor on cocoa development and control made the call while addressing journalists during the symbolic planting of cocoa tree at the Cross River state state Liaison office in Abuja.
According to Him “cocoa production has replaced oil as the major source of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) used for infrastructural development and other needs of the state; adding that before this time cocoa was completely eradicated, but the administration of Governor Ben Ayade from 2015 up to date has offered huge employment opportunities to youths in cocoa sector”.
He said: “What Cross River State governor have done is to ensure that there’s continuous food security for the average Nigerian. I think that it will also go a long way to provide solution to the numerous security challenges we are experiencing in the country”.
“Because basically why you see Bandit is because of lack of adequate job opportunities, a man who is hungry will definitely look for a way to survive so, he carries a gun and gets to the street and begins to kill people.
“I believe if all of us can go back to agriculture, if every other governor in Nigeria can emulate the good gesture of his excellency the governor of Cross River State and then encourage agricultural development, I think issues of insecurities will be minimumized.”
“As we all know, when his excellence resume duty, his attention have been on agriculture, because he understand that agriculture is the only way to move Cross River State and Nigeria forward, so his excellence emphasis has been on agro based and so, he established the department of cocoa development from the minister of agricultural and then appointed me as the very first special adviser on cocoa development.
“The idea was that, if Cote d’Ivoire, a very small country whose population is not up to the size of Cross River State can be identified as the highest producer of cocoa, then Cross-River state can do better. The entire landscape of the creeks of Bakassi supports Cocoa development.”
Mr. Ofuka stated that for the first time, ultra-modern Cocoa processing factory was established in Ikom, and that created job and wealth opportunities.
He noted that he has raised awareness on the value of planting cocoa as ornamental trees in premises of the State Secretariat, Calabar. Lobbying for and winning the Establishmernt of the First Ultra-Modern Cocoa Processing Factory in kom, Cross River State.
He said “Winning Star Award at the First lnternational Cocoa Summit in the nation’s capital, Abuja and planting cocoa in FCT to reinvent cocoa as economic produce of Nigeria at Nicon Luxury Hotel, Abuja, in 2017 is encouraging.
Launching the Ayade Cocoa Revolution to create mass awareness and floating the tourism brand, AYADE COCOA BAND will provide an opportunity for cocoa farmers”.
While receiving Dr Ofuka, the special Adviser on Inter-Government Affairs, Cross River state Liaison, Barr Agatha Akpo-Adamade, commended Ofuka for supporting farmers, assuring of sustained relationship for economic recovery and transformation of the state.