July 22, 2024
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The Lagos state government has disclosed plans to build three cocoa processing plants by 2025 with a production capacity of at least 10,000 metric tonnes yearly.  

This was disclosed by the state’s commissioner for Commerce, Cooperatives, Trade and Investment, Folashade Ambrose-Medebem who represented the Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the International Cocoa and Chocolate Forum held in Lagos.  

According to her, the current administration hopes to leverage the strategic geographical position of the state to turn it into a major cocoa trading hub in Nigeria.  

He further stated that the state hopes to train and empower around 20,000 cocoa agro-processors and SMEs by 2025 under diverse initiatives.  

She stated, “We are already working on a strategic roadmap for the state to explore the potentials of cocoa to increase its local processing to 40% of total production, facilitate the establishment of at least three major cocoa processing- each with the capacity to process at least 10,000 metric tonnes annually as well as train and empower over 20,000 cocoa Agro-processors/SMEs by 2025 through various programmes”

The Commissioner noted that adding value to Nigeria’s cocoa industry requires a strategic partnership between different stakeholders in the cocoa value chain to generate revenue and create jobs, economic diversification and development.

He added, “With the current economic challenges, compounded by the declining value, we believe the nation can harness and multiply in geometric proportion the current economic benefit it is deriving from cocoa production through a multifaceted approach.

“With this vision and resources, Lagos state is committed to leading this transformation. Together, we can create a sustainable and prosperous future for the cocoa industry, our economy and our people”  

Nigeria’s cocoa production has declined significantly in the last four decades from being the top producer globally to trailing behind Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Indonesia in the global ranking 

Also, the Nigeria Export and Import Bank, NEXIM had earlier launched a platform to connect cocoa farmers, aggregators and processors across Africa to ensure value addition to all involved in the cocoa value chain and to promote intra-African trade.  

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