Tree Crops Under Threat As Focus Shifts To Rice, Maize

Nigeria has lost its glory, wealth and position in the production of almost all the tree crops like cocoa, oil palm, cashew etc.

In the 1960s, cocoa was the wheel of development in western and southern Nigeria. In the same period, oil palm was money for many households in eastern Nigeria, while cashew put smiles on the faces of many people in communities in northcentral, eastern and western Nigeria.

Coffee and tea also gave many families good income in Taraba and Plateau states, as well as pockets of other producing areas across the country.

Sadly, while many nations have strengthened production of these tree crops, production in Nigerian has consistently been on the decline because the federal government only made promises without articulated policies and funding.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan, through the former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, who is now the President of African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, in his cocoa transformation agenda, said that if the country was to meet national targets on cocoa beans productions, Nigeria needed to raise 111 million improved hybrid seedlings in 2012, another 116 million in 2013 and then by 2013, reduce the production to 80 million. Unfortunately, none of these targets was met.

Read more from the source- DAILYTRUST