Ondo State government, yesterday, revealed its plan to promote economic growth and harness the export potential of cocoa and cashew industries in the state.
Senior Special Assistant on Agriculture and Agribusiness to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, while reiterating that efforts geared at developing and advancing the sectors within the state will be pursued, said the move would further boost the economic drive of the state.
Olotu, who spoke during a media parley organised by the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ondo State Council, emphasised the impact the development of cocoa, cashew, and their respective value chains could have on the state’s economy.
According to him, by promoting the development of cocoa, cashew, and their value chains within the local context, the state stands to reap substantial benefits due to high demand for the crops in international markets.
He said: “We have a lot to gain from cocoa, cashew, shea butter and other similar products because of their exportability. Therefore, the preservation and expansion of forests are critical areas the government needs to focus on.
“By developing cocoa, cashew, and their value chains locally, we can unlock their full potential and drive economic growth.”
The governor’s aide emphasised the importance of research and development, improved agricultural practices and the establishment of robust market linkages.
He also advocated robust public-private partnership to facilitate transfer of technology and knowledge and attract investments into the sector.
He said cashew had become a national commodity that grows across the 36 states of the federation, with cocoa in second place in terms of foreign exchange earnings for the economy.
He expressed optimism that with strategic interventions and collective efforts, the state could become a leading hub for cocoa and cashew production, processing and exportation.
thereby contributing significantly to economic growth and job creation.