The Nigerian Export Promotion Council has collaborated with the Imo State government to enhance the production and exportation of cocoa in the state.
The Imo NEPC’s Trade Promotion Advisor, Mr Anthony Ajuruchi, disclosed this at a sensitisation workshop on global best practices in cocoa production and processing for export, held in Owerri.
Speaking on the theme, ‘Optimising the Potentials of Cocoa Production for Exports’, he disclosed that Nigeria exported over $500m worth of cocoa beans in 2021.
He urged exporters in Nigeria to take advantage of the huge potential available in export destinations such as Brazil, China, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Malaysia, Vietnam, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
Ajuruchi stated, “There are huge potentials in value-added cocoa products whose global worth is over $12bn, so it will be necessary for us to increase our share of the global production, for a rightful place in the international market.
“We need to ensure that Imo cocoa producers get it right and join their counterparts in producing high-quality cocoa beans for value addition and wealth generation.”
Also speaking at the event, the state’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Barthy Okorochukwu, said the state government was ready to partner with the NEPC for optimal production, processing, and exportation of cocoa.
He urged the people of Imo to focus on the production of cocoa rather than on its consumption. He stated, “We are committed to reawakening the production and processing of cash crops for export, rather than just consumption.
“When we process, we generate foreign exchange and create jobs for unemployed persons, and this is why we remain committed to this course of recovering the cocoa sub-sector.”