Governor Adeleke to Address Cocoa Conference in London

Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State is expected to address a cocoa investment conference in London today as part of his drive for the implementation of the Osun Cocoa Revival Agenda.

A Statement by his spokesperson Mallam Olawale Rasheed said the Governor had kickstarted the London trip with a meeting with the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC) led by Lord Marland, the Chairman of the Commonwealth Investment Council.

The conference tagged “Promoting the Cocoa Renaissance Initiative ” is to be attended by stakeholders from business and farming communities alongside targeted investors in the cocoa value chain.

Governor Adeleke noted that he had a productive meeting with Rt. Hon. Lord Jonathan Marland, Chairman of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC).

“We discussed mutual benefits of Osun State’s agrarian nature for the council and how our state can leverage Commonwealth membership for increased investment opportunities.

“I highlighted key strategic initiatives my administration is implementing to enhance the ease of doing business and create a conducive environment to attract investors. We are eager to explore potential partnerships, particularly in the areas of mining, agricultural production for export, and the enhancement of our digital economy ecosystem”, the Governor noted.

Governor Adeleke had in January unveiled Osun state Cocoa revival plan which includes the following:

● To revive the sector holistically;

● Assemble stakeholders to design an updated revival plan;

● Get the cocoa industry in my town running again;

● Put life back into the cocoa farming sub-sector through demonstration of political will;

● Get more investors into the value chain through ease of doing business;

● Set up a domestic export terminal in Osun state to ease export process and access to international market;

● Partner with the railway corporation for easy of transport;

● Upgrade local infrastructures for farming community;

● Set up a modified commodity boards to strengthen stakeholders’ finance;

● Develop partnership with financial institutions to support the cocoa farming community;

● Develop relationship with the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) for agric tech and innovations; and

● An invitation to the Cocoa Research Institute for partnership and collaboration engagement.

The Governor Adeleke had then disclosed that his administration is focused on doubling down on the implementation of the cocoa agenda by focussing on the following:

● A directive to the state Ministry of Agriculture to establish high yielding cocoa nurseries across the local governments in the state. This is to be implemented in partnership with the local government leadership;

● An action plan for the rehabilitation of old cocoa plantations in term of facilities and re-plantation;

● The opening up new cocoa estates with young farmers;

●. The introduction of a deliberate programme to protect cocoa farms from destructive activities of miners and mining activities;

● A plan to resuscitate the State owned cocoa processing industry at Ede for value chain addition;

● The adoption of the cocoa revival plan as part of our climate agenda. Reforestation through cocoa plantation is high on the table.

● Ongoing plan to establish cottage cocoa factories across the state Under an industry cluster agenda, our administration is targeting such cottage factories to increase cocoa processing and development of the value chain industry.

The Governor is due to be back in Nigeria by this weekend.

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