The Ondo State government has shared 400,000 cocoa seedlings and 25,000 Cashew seedlings to farmers in the state.
At the flag-off of the exercise, the State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, said that the State was making effective policies aimed at bringing it back to its leadership position in cocoa farming and production in the country.
He also said that the distribution was a partnership initiative between the State government and the Federal Government.
Akeredolu, therefore, urged the youths in the State to take farming as a profession, saying it is only agriculture that can rescue Nigeria from its economic challenges.
He noted that the development of the cocoa value chain was key to President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration; hence the government embarking on the training of cocoa farmers, using modern forms of fermentation and drying.
Corroborating the Governor’s position, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Adegboyega Adefarati, stressed that there was need to sustain the position of the State as the frontier of cocoa production in Nigeria.
Adefarati pointed out that the State government gave the hybrid cocoa and cashew seedlings to farmers free, adding that it would go a long way in helping farmers during rehabilitation and replanting of their plantations in the State.
According to him, this gesture was a pre-exercise to the event of cocoa rebirth initiative, which was aimed at addressing the production and distribution of improved cocoa varieties.
Adefarati, however, pleaded with farmers to make good use of the seedlings for production.