Rotimi John Omole works for the development program of the Nigerian Ministry of Agriculture in the state of Ekiti. He is also the supervisor of Farmer Business Schools (FBS). Ekiti is one of six states in Nigeria where GIZ has launched the FBS training for small farmers on behalf of the German Development Ministry .
What role does cocoa play for Nigeria?
Cocoa cultivation is very important because the soil is well suited in many places. The cultivation creates numerous jobs. In southwest Nigeria alone, about two million people work in the value chain.
Can this stop the rural exodus from young people to urban centers?
In the villages there is a lack of infrastructure. But if this is created, then agriculture is an interesting field of work, especially cocoa cultivation. There are new varieties that can bear fruit within 18 to 24 months and can be harvested. If the government can provide land for or provide support to land purchase, infrastructure and good education, they can work as cocoa producers. Then there is no need for them to go to the cities.
Is cocoa Nigeria's future?
In any case. Cocoa is an export commodity that brings money into the country and provides farmers with a good income. It can be further processed into many products, such as cocoa butter, wine, bread and chocolate. When investing in cultivation and conversion, cocoa can change Nigeria's economy and the country's future.