Osun State in South West Nigeria will soon become the hub of cocoa production in the country as the newly refurbished Cocoa production Industry comes on board.
This was the submission of the state Governor Rauf Aregbesola, during a facility tour of the newly resuscitated Cocoa Production Industry in Ede, in partnership with a Chinese Company, Golden Monkey of China.
The 73-30 equity partnership between the Government and the Chinese company is aimed to revive the cocoa production after 15 years.
Aregbesola remarked that the 20,000 metric tons production capacity of the industry compared to its 5,000 tons capacity in 2001 before the factory was abandoned is a thing of joy to the state.
”The Cocoa Production Industry will go a long way to support the state’s agricultural plan and efforts at developing Cocoa farming in the state,” he said.
The Governor commended the partnering company for increasing capacity to four times higher than what it was.
“With this production, the name of our state will be on the map of the world as a centre of excellence in the processing of cocoa and other products.
“We are highly optimistic that this centre will support our agricultural efforts and economic drive to empower our cocoa farmers and merchants,” the Governor explained.
The Assistant General Manager of the jointly formed Skyrun Cocoa Production Industry, Song Lin said the company is currently working to transit from producing mere cocoa liquid, to both cocoa powder and cake.
“Our cocoa liquid production at present is now 20, 000 metric tons as against 5000 capacity the industry generated before. Our future plan after finishing our installation is to increase the production capacity.
“Though we are only producing cocoa liquid now we aim to enhance our production to cocoa powder and cocoa cake and remain a major cocoa production Industry around the world”. She stressed.
The Chairman Board of Directors of the Industry, Chief Adewale Adeyeye said the effort is already yielding fruits as cocoa suppliers have started frequenting the industry to do business.
He said the state is looking forward to establishing robust economic activities, to turn Osun to food producing state.
“We have done the environmental impact on these facilities which has attracted investors for better productivity.
“We are working round the clock to ensure the state, through the company, becomes the hub of cocoa exportation in the world just as the company has started exporting cocoa to China and Europe,” Adewale added.