IBADAN – Mr Joseph Ojediji, the Chairman, Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN), Ibadan Branch, on Monday predicted a decline of cocoa farmers in the country in the next 20 years.
Ojediji told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan that many young people were showing enough interest in cocoa farming due to the hardship associated with the occupation.
“When you think of the time invested in preparing the land and the fact that cocoa seedlings take up to four to five years to harvest, you will agree that it is not a fast-yielding business.
“No young graduate in this present time can wait for about seven years before he begins to make profit. How many unemployed graduate can wait that long?,” he asked.
The chairman urged the state government to provide free planting materials and highly subsidised chemicals to farmers.
“It is so bad that the government does not vote money for cocoa farmers, and when you compare us with other crop farmers, we are not enjoying what we love to do.
“If things should continue this way, and with the older farmers retiring, there would not be cocoa farmers in the nation in the next 20 years,” Ojediji said. (NAN)