Thursday, April 25, 2024

NEPC Calls for Application of Technology in Cocoa Value Chain

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has called for the need to embrace the application of advanced technologies and infrastructure to improve the cocoa value chain across the cocoa-producing regions in the country.

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has called for the need to embrace the application of advanced technologies and infrastructure to improve the cocoa value chain across the cocoa-producing regions in the country.

The Executive Director of the Council, Dr. Ezra Yakusak, made this call in a two-day workshop at Akure, Ondo State Capital, which was organized for cocoa farmers with the theme “Optimizing the Emerging Technological and Infrastructural to Enable the Cocoa Revolution.”

Yakusak, represented by Arch. Benedict Itegbe, State Coordinator of NEPC, noted that exploring artificial intelligence, blockchain, and digital marketing will ensure unprecedented levels of efficiency and productivity necessary for sustained global competitiveness in this disruptive age of technology.

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He recognized the contribution of Ondo State to the sub-sector, stating that the state, as the leader in cocoa production, has a responsibility to pioneer and foster strategic innovation and collaboration that can be adopted in the other 13 cocoa-producing states.

The NEPC boss went on to advise farmers to take advantage of emerging technologies to boost their farming activities and penetrate the global market, pointing out that artificial intelligence offers new and powerful means to empower farmers with advanced tools and data-driven insights for farm gate prosperity.

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Also speaking was the Chairman of the Ondo State Cocoa Council, Olusegun Awolumote, who implored the Federal Government to boost the country’s foreign exchange by paying special attention to cocoa production and other tree crops.

Awolumote lamented that before the discovery of crude oil in Nigeria, cocoa was the mainstay of the country’s economy and that the country, which was the number one producer of cocoa in the world, has been relegated to the background and is now rated third, behind Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.

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