The Ooni (king) of Ife, also a farmer,
participated in the.opening program of
the Regional Cocoa Symposium held in IITA
chain converged at IITA in Ibadan, for a Regional Cocoa Symposium to brainstorm on the future of Africa’s cocoa research. The symposium was organized by WCF, CRIN, IITA, and USAID.
The inaugural symposium focusing on the Next Generation of Cocoa Research for West and Central Africa, aimed at addressing the issues around the sustainability of cocoa in West and Central Africa, the region which produces about 70% of cocoa in the world, and strengthening the partnerships among different actors across the entire sector.
“To supply cocoa farmers with improved seedlings, we have to do more breeding of higher yielding cocoa, and investing more in propagation. We also have to invest in producing clones and making sure healthy plants reach farmers. I manage research to improve cocoa productivity and quality, and we are here to absorb information and connect to the African network of cocoa researchers”. Martin Gilmour Mars chocolate company, (UK),
“There is need to review policies and develop new strategies to address the challenges faced by the cocoa industry and research institutes involved in cocoa production. We have to come up with the strategies that will ensure sustainable cocoa production for the benefit of all”, Dr Olayiwola Olubamiwa, Acting Executive Director, Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), Ibadan.
“The African Cocoa Initiative (ACI) has a focus on youths in terms of making the cocoa sector a profitable business. We will make the plant materials and finance available where necessary”. Jay Daniiuk United States Agency for International Development (USAID) representative