Expert wants research to boost Cocoa production


The Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), Ibadan, must ensure effective collaboration with relevant stakeholders and the organised private sector to improve research and impact more on the society.

Prof. Peter Aikpokpodion of the Department of Plant Breeding at the University of Calabar, made the call at the 2019 In-House Review organised by the institute in Ibadan.

The  theme of the review was: “Impactful demand-driven research on cocoa, cashew, coffee, kola and tea for people, planet and profit.’’

Aikpokpodion urged the scientists at CRIN to build their social capital in unity, strategically and know their mandate crops intimately to achieve the mission of establishing the institute.

“We need the international institute’s collaboration to solve the problems facing our industries, set out terms of reference, and sign MoU’s with relevant stakeholders 

“You don’t wait for government’s subvention alone, also go out and make moves,” he said.

He advised them to ensure that the research outputs respond to the needs of the mandate crops’ industries (cocoa, cashew, coffee, kola and tea).

Also speaking, the Cocoa Desk Officer, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Raphael Adebayo, urged CRIN to think of how it could disseminate the developed researches to the relevant stakeholders.

“The stakeholders are the end-users of the researches, so we expect adequate cooperation from them, the government alone cannot do it,” he said.

Also, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Multitrex Nigeria Ltd., Mr Owofemi Oladimeji, advised CRIN to focus its research more on value addition and specialise in areas where their competitors were yet to explore.

“Focus more on researches that will add flavour, our researches are theoretical, we already have the knowledge to grow cocoa, let’s sell the knowledge in the area of value-addition to our local products,” he said.

He implored citizens and government personnel to begin to consume locally-produced products,   rather than consuming foreign products and encouraging their importation.

Similarly, the representative of World Cocoa Foundation based in Ghana, Mr Nene Akwetey-Kodjoe, said the foundation established cocoa seed gardens with CRIN to empower the farmers and improve their livelihoods.

He said  that the organization was  a sustainable cocoa sector where cocoa producing communities are empowered and farmers supported.