The Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN) on Monday appealed to the Federal Government to provide essential inputs to improve local production of the crop.
Lasun Adesokan, the National Vice President of the association, Oyo-Osun zone, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
Adesokan said to ensure improved product quality and output, government should empower the farmers with fertiliser, fermentation boxes and easy access to loan.
Fermentation boxes are equipment designed for cocoa farmers to ferment cocoa beans before sun-drying them.
Well fermented cocoa beans produce a nice aroma, which is one of the qualities required in the international cocoa market.
Adesokan also identified inadequate equipment as one of the major problems facing cocoa processing.
“Government can help farmers by giving them agricultural inputs and finance to maintain their farms.
“Maintenance of cocoa farms is very imperative.
“It takes about three to four years for cocoa trees to start yielding well, which needs essential maintenance,” he said.
He also appealed to the government to provide fermentation boxes to cocoa farmers.