USAID pledges to boost cocoa production in Nigeria

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LAGOS – States Agency for International Development (USAID) on restated its commitment to support Nigerian farmers in boosting cocoa production towards diversification of nation’s .
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USAID’s of Growth and Environment, Mr Mathew Burton, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that cocoa was Nigeria’s key that urgently needed to be developed.

Burton said that it was imperative for Nigeria to be encouraged to diversify her especially now that the prices of had fallen.

According to him, increase in the production of cocoa will also boost local and international consumption of the product.

“The U. S. Government, through the USAID, will continue to support Nigerian farmers in the development of the cocoa sector due to current fall in the prices of .

“We think the time is ripe for diversification in Nigeria’s .

“The USAID is very much interested in supporting Nigerian Government’s effort at diversifying her economy.

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“And cocoa as we all know is one of Nigeria’s key exports, with a high global demand and prices.

“So, there are obviously opportunities for Nigeria to explore in the development of her cocoa sector,’’ he said.

The USAID’s , however, noted that the nation’s cocoa industry had in the 10 to 15 years witnessed an under-investment.

Burton said that the agency was already working with Nigeria’s small holder farmers as well as bringing in large scale investment for the development of the sector.

He also said that the agency had launched business initiatives for Nigerians interested in doing business with the . (NAN)