Governor Adeleke Markets Osun’s Cocoa Potential, Woos International Investors in London

In a bid to harness the untapped potential of the cocoa industry in Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke, the Executive Governor, has made a compelling case for investors to seize the opportunities presented by the region’s cocoa production.

Speaking at a global gathering of cocoa sector investors in London on Wednesday, Adeleke emphasized the richness of Osun’s brand of cocoa, stating that it is highly sought after by end users providing investors with a guarantee of returns for their investments.

The Governor who pointed out that Osun is a major cocoa belt in Nigeria to underscore opportunities, outlined ongoing efforts by his government to expand the production base and unleash the benefits of the sector for both the state and investors.

“Our cocoa is the traditional species which has the best taste in chocolate and other related products. Our brand is therefore much sought after by end users,” Governor Adeleke remarked.

Acknowledging the challenges faced by the cocoa sector, Adeleke outlined his administration’s proactive steps towards overcoming obstacles that have hindered the sector’s growth. He unveiled the Osun Cocoa Revival Agenda launched earlier this year, aimed at rejuvenating the industry and fostering sustainable growth.

“Our cocoa sector faces several challenges, several of which include the need to expand the production base, ensure entrance of young farmers, ease access to finance, deepen the value chain among others.

“It was in pursuance of the above that I launched the Osun Cocoa Revival Agenda in January this year.”

Key initiatives under the agenda include reviving the state-owned cocoa processing industry, establishing high-yielding cocoa nurseries across local governments, rehabilitating old cocoa plantations, and engaging young farmers to expand production capacity.

The Governor also emphasized the importance of protecting cocoa farms from destructive activities and fostering innovation through partnerships with agencies such as the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) and with the Cocoa Research Institute.

The Governor further said “We call on our business friends in the United Kingdom and Europe as well as North America to partner with us for mutual interest in the cocoa sector. We are widely open to investors who are interested in the value chain of the cocoa sector as well as shareholding in the existing cocoa ventures.

“Your coming to Osun is assured to be very rewarding for many reasons. Our government has enhanced the ease of doing business in Osun through an end to multiple taxation and facilitation of access to land and simplification of the approval system.

“We are open to supporting government to government, government to business, business to business arrangements. We are a willing partner and my team is here to negotiate deals and partnership”

Chioma Kalu