By: Dayo Fasasi
In his bid to aid the Agricultural development of the country, the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II gave out one million cocoa nurseries to young Nigerians.
Unhappy over the neglect of the cocoa farming business, which was once a major foreign earning for the Nigerian economy the Ooni Adeyeye, has decided to change the trend.
According to the media aide to the Ooni,, Yera Moses, Oba Adeyeye, chose the cocoa, which now sells for about $3,000 dollars per tone as a perfect alternative to the dwindling crude oil now selling below $40 dollars per barrel .
“if we must survive the economic quagmire informed by over-reliance on the crude oil lucidly losing its value by the day” Moses said.
He added that the Ooni Adeyeye is targeting 10 million trees rolling in one million phases with the youths to get 2000 plants each from the nursery stage.
“If we have stronger partnerships/alliances with Government , it is a very capital intensive venture, it is not impossible to expand the cocoa plantation nursery to well over 100m trees to be spread across the entire country just to bring back cocoa days to this country again”.
The statement released from the Ooni’s Palace also confirmed the collaboration with the State of Osun government. The ministry of agriculture has given a nod of cooperation for the initiative by providing mechanization support for the ‘Greenfield ‘ project .
It was also revealed that there is an international soil improvement firm – Dynamic Green Concept Ltd, USA that would help them improve the soil.
In marketing the cocoa products, Wazobia Global Times, learned that the Ooni Ogunwusi, would be visiting Harsey Chocolate Factory in Philadelphia, USA to reach an agreement in supplies and a further processing opportunity in Nigeria.
Though, the first phase of the cocoa farming, which is the one million three donation, is set to kick off in ile-Ife, Mr. Moses, revealed that the Ooni Ogunwusi, is ready to take the initiative across the country, as he has had memorandum of understanding with the sultan of Sokoto Saad Abubakr, alongside six other emirs in the north and some Obas in the Southwest. The Greenfield project also has gained Strategic partnership with the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) .