The Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN) has debunked the reports that made the rounds in the news, claiming that the European Union (EU) plans to ban the export of cocoa from Nigeria to Europe.
Specifically, the National President of the association, Mr Mufutau Abolarinwa, said there was no iota of truth in the news that made the rounds on the planned ban by the EU.
Speaking with newsmen in Akure at the weekend to clear the air, Abolarinwa explained that the issue had not been discussed at the Council of International Cocoa Organisation at any time,
He said Nigeria’s cocoa has the best aroma globally, to talk or think of a ban, adding that the claim that cocoa producers did not meet the maximum residue limits set by the EU for agricultural produce was a cooked-up story.
“In the last few weeks, we have been inundated with calls and enquiries concerning some misinformation being peddled around regular and social media platforms that Europe will ban or has banned export Nigeria cocoa.
“The reports said it is because Nigerian cocoa producers do not meet the maximum residue limits set by the EU for agricultural produce, including cocoa and that the EU had issued a notification to that effect.
“The Cocoa Association of Nigeria wishes to state emphatically that there is no such decision by EU countries or any country whatsoever.
“The President of Cocoa Association of Nigeria sits in the Council of the International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO) which discusses, debates and agrees upon all international regulations for implementation on cocoa and no such issue has come before the ICCO.
“No such communication has also come to the Cocoa Association of Nigeria, which was established in 1986 as the umbrella body for all cocoa stakeholders from research, through farming, input provision, trade, export, processing, manufacture and consumption,” Abolarinwa said.
Furthermore, he noted that the association can confidently confirm that Nigeria was not on the red list of any cocoa importing or consuming country, then or now.
However, he agreed that he cannot hide from the reality that there had been incidences of poor, adulterated and sometimes abused pesticides in cocoa production.
According to him, with regular interaction with farmers, increased training for exporters and capacity building among farmers on best agricultural practices in cocoa farming, things are rapidly improving.
Meanwhile, Abolarinwa said despite the neglect and myriad of challenges facing the industry, it has remained the country’s number one non-crude oil foreign exchange earning commodity.
“Our contribution to the nation’s economy exceeds N400 billion per annum from the sale of cocoa beans and secondary products.
“There are over 500,000 cocoa farmers in 14 major cocoa producing states, over 100,000 factories and licensed buying agents.
“There are nearly 50 major local cocoa exporters, over 20 foreign exporters all of whom employ hundreds of thousands of Nigerians,” he added.
The post Association Debunks Report Alleging EU’s Ban of Nigerian Cocoa first appeared on AgroNigeria.
The post Association Debunks Report Alleging EU’s Ban of Nigerian Cocoa appeared first on AgroNigeria.