Some farmers in the Nigerian state of Ondo have doubled cocoa production per hectare, producing one kilogram of cocoa per tree, as the state aims to raise its output to 100,000 tons in the 2020-21 season, a senior cocoa official said Friday.
Production of one kilogram of cocoa per tree would translate into one metric ton per hectare annually compared with the current output of 500 kilograms of cocoa per hectare a year, the state government said.
“One kilogram [of cocoa] per tree is on course,” said Toba Adenowuro, a cocoa-desk officer at the Ministry of Agriculture in Akure, Ondo’s capital. “Farmers all over the state are now embracing it,” he added.
Ondo is the largest cocoa grower in Nigeria and accounts for about 40% of national production, estimated at 280,000 to 300,000 tons of cocoa per season by trade groups.
It is the first state in Nigeria to set the one-kilogram-per-tree target.
The majority of farmers in Ondo are still on average for 500 kilograms of cocoa per hectare, Mr. Adenowuro said. Ondo produced 84,000 tons of cocoa in the 2019-20 season, higher than the 77,000 tons produced in the previous season, he said.
Ondo aims to increase its production to 100,000 tons in 2020-21 following the rehabilitation of its old cocoa farms and has established a new 2,000-hectares model cocoa farm at Ijugbere Camp in the Owo area, Mr. Adenowuro said, adding that the new cocoa varieties developed by the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria have been planted in the new farm.
Culled from WSJ