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Forum to partner CRIN to improve cocoa production


By Chidinma Ewunonu-Aluko


Ibadan     –     The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) will collaborate with the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), Ibadan, to improve cocoa production.

The Director, Extension and Economics, CRIN, Dr Olusoji Oduwole, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan on Tuesday.

Oduwole said that FARA, Executive Director, Dr Yemi Akinbamijo and some delegates visited CRIN recently on the partnership.

According to him, the organisations agreed that innovation platforms on CRIN mandate crops: cocoa, coffee, cashew, among others should be proposed as FARA would help in the linkage with other organisations.

“We need collaboration with organisations on how to improve our research and bring science into agriculture, especially in cocoa production.

“FARA is in the right position for this linkage, with this linkage, we don’t have to wait for Federal Government’s fund to do research which is small and untimely.

“Ideas from other countries, institutions will bring innovation that will transform our agriculture, cocoa, economy and improve the livelihood of the farmers.

“If Vietnam can increase coffee production 10 folds in 10 years, we can also bring cocoa to the foremost position or use our cocoa to bring more value to the economy in the value chain,” he said.

Oduwole disclosed that CRIN was working on innovation platform for coffee while it received 50kg of improved coffee seeds for research and planting from Kenya recently.

He added that the institute was also working on a business incubation platform for youth on some new products of cocoa.

The director said FARA acknowledged that CRIN had generated new products but there must be technology delivery and structured market for CRIN’s products to sell.

He quoted Akinbamijo as saying that there was lack of value addition in Africa’s agriculture.

According to Akinbamijo, in cocoa we must think beyond production, increasing yield for export is not a good ground for success; helping farmers to road side market is not helpful.

“We must think about the rules of origin given rise to such products such as Ile Oluji cocoa and Mambilla tea, the whole of Netherland country is less than Oyo State but produces most of the food needs of the whole of West Africa.

“CRIN must take advantage of African initiative to strengthen capacity and must make livelihood to reach lower levels, FARA will connect CRIN to regional cooperation, knitting strategies together to strengthen cocoa value chain.

“The chain is as strong as its weakest link, CRIN must elevate accountability to the highest political bodies to strengthen the goodwill; we must support policies to translate research outcomes into development impact at scale.

“We must strengthen individuals, organisations and systemic capacities. CRIN should therefore set up an institutional goal within the next 6 months, get into the group of FARA and sign up to get many opportunities.

“A knock on FARA opens doors to 54 countries for cooperation and partnership. FARA serves as entry point for agricultural research initiatives designed to have a continental or sub continental reach spanning more than one –sub region,”

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