Chief Timehin Adelegbe, the Ondo State Commissioner for Commerce, Industries and Cooperatives, has urged the Federal Government to use intervention fund meant for cocoa buyers to set up a cocoa processing plant in the state.
Adelegbe gave the advice on Thursday in Akure at a capacity-building programme for dealers in cocoa beans.
The programme was organized by Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and had the theme “Repositioning Nigerian Cocoa to attain Global Competitiveness’’.
“The intervention fund is enough to set up processing outlets where we do not need to export cocoa beans, but use them to produce butter and other derivatives.
“I am saying this because cocoa is like our oil in Ondo State and its development should not be left in the hands of the state government alone.
“I believe that Federal Government should establish plants that can make use of cocoa beans because taking the produce out of the country and providing incentives to buyers is not the best option,” he said.
Adelegbe said that the seminar was apt considering the state as the highest cocoa producer in the country.
He said that Nigerian cocoa was up to the global standard.
Amaka E. Nliam