The Publicity Secretary, Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ogun State chapter, Tunde Oladunjoye has called on cocoa farmers to always practise their trade in accordance with government regulations and laws.
Oladunjoye who spoke at a Roundtable Conference, organised by the Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN) for Cocoa farmers, also urged genuine cocoa farmers to come together and fight those he described as “political cocoa farmers”.
The event was held at the Muslim Community Events centre, Ijebu Imushin, Ogun State on Thursday, November 28.
His words, “The Cocoa farmers must come together to form a united front against those I describe as political farmers. Year in year out, successive administrations announced billions of naira as support fund for various agricultural crops with little or near-absence effect on the original farmers.”
Oladunjoye also urged the farmers to form cooperative societies or strengthen the existing ones in order for them to have easy access to funds.
He said, “Funding from national and international agencies nowadays are better accessed through cooperatives and cluster groups. The farmers must come together to ensure that members who obtain loans are made to pay such loans back in time and fulfill all other contractual obligations”.
“The officers of your association should not wait for government and its agencies. Rather they should approach government and its agencies to find out about emerging government initiatives, funding and potentials”, Oladunjoye added.
He appealed to the government to “continue to provide enabling environment in terms of rural infrastructure, storage, marketing and other aspects of the cocoa value chain.”
“Incentives and structured support must be provided for processing within the country to make farmers earn more from their crops”, Oladunjoye said.