August 09, (THEWILL) – Cocoa Association of Nigeria, CAN, Cross River State chapter, has charged the federal government to set up a taskforce that will prohibit fake and substandard pesticides from entering the country.
The association also wants Cocoa farmers in Nigeria to be prevented from having access to fake and counterfeit pesticides, which impacts negatively on the quality and tonnes of cocoa produced annually.
In addition, the Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON, has been charged to ensure banned pesticides, whose quality had been known to be sub-standard and fake by other cocoa-producing nations of the world don’t find their way into the Nigerian market.
Chairman, Cocoa Association of Nigeria, CAN, Cross River State chapter, Comrade Ejor Bissong, made the call while speaking on the state of cocoa and the challenges and prospects of cocoa cultivation in the country.
He said that if cocoa beans, produced by farmers in the country were of a better grade, there is the likelihood for the price per tonne to astronomically increase in the international market, stressing good quality beans remain a major determinant of good price.
The CAN Chairman warned that unless something is urgently done by the government at all levels to salvage the situation, the quality of the product risks the Chance of getting dwindled.
“CAN members should get copies of approved standards made available by SON. Suitable methods of application of pesticides like the European Union, EU standard, or even the Japanese standard should be adopted.
“Accredited laboratories are available for determining the true quality of cocoa. Policymakers must be encouraged to come up with legislations that are friendly to our case”, he said.