The president of the Federation of Agricultural Commodity Associations of Nigeria (FACAN), Dr. Victor Iyama, has attributed the continued decline in cocoa production in Nigeria to the long period it takes to mature as well as impatience among Nigerian youth, who are expected to embrace its production.
Iyama, who spoke in Abuja, yesterday, at the 2nd Daily Trust Agric Conference, said cocoa was a good crop to invest in but required a lot of patience from youth willing to go into its production.
"It's not four to six months, it is up to five years minimum but the beauty is that it can last for 70 years," he said.
Dr. Victor also stated that production of cocoa beans from harvest up to the time when it is properly fermented took between 27 and 30 days depending on the weather.
He said chocolate was the easiest cocoa product to make and it generates large sums of money from the cocoa industry.
"Out of the 120 billion USD cocoa economy, less than 15 billion USD goes to cocoa beans, cocoa cake and cocoa butter while the rest goes to chocolate," he said.
Dr. Victor noted that cocoa was the second largest foreign exchange earner, next only to oil, adding that 29 states in the country can produce cocoa.
"There's cocoa in Adamawa, Taraba, Niger, Kogi and so many states have joined, it is no longer a southern affair but a national affair," Dr. Victor said.