Friday, April 12, 2024

USDA launches TRACE to Strengthen Cocoa Value Chain in Nigeria

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), under its Food for Progress program, has launched the Traceability and Resilience in Agriculture and Cocoa Ecosystem (TRACE) project to implement good agricultural practices and strengthen cocoa productivity and marketing in Nigeria.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), under its Food for Progress program, has launched the Traceability and Resilience in Agriculture and Cocoa Ecosystem (TRACE) project to implement good agricultural practices and strengthen cocoa productivity and marketing in Nigeria.

This was made known during the meeting between the delegation from the Ekiti State Government, led by the Special Adviser on Agriculture and Food Security, Mr. Ebenezer Boluwade, and the TRACE delegates, led by the Deputy Chief of Party, Mr. Wale Awoyemi.

TRACE is a program targeted at using climate-smart agriculture to expand the cacao market through traceability back to its source and improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers in Nigeria, who are mostly operating at a subsistence level and struggle to make a living income, despite the country’s ranking among the world’s top five producers of cocoa.

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The Special Adviser (Media) to the Governor, Mr Yinka Oyebode, pointed out that the $22 million project will take place in six cocoa-producing states: Ekiti, Ondo, Osun, Cross River, Abia, and Akwa Ibom, adding that it will be implemented over the next five years.

He made it known that the USDA has awarded the fund to Lutheran World Relief (LWR) to implement the project in collaboration with the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), C-Lever, and Econometrica.

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“The Ekiti State Government team reiterated its commitment to provide an enabling environment and policy support for the successful implementation of the TRACE project. The state has a reliable database of farmers and access to land in the cocoa-producing belt that is suitable for production.

“LWR’s partnership with the Ekiti State Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security will deliver sustainable programs that will expand the state’s access to competitive markets for cocoa trade, potentially earn revenue, and move smallholder farmers out of chronic vulnerability and poverty” .Oyebode said

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