Cocoa is botanically called Theobromine cacao. It is a perennial crop that is, a crop that takes more than three years before harvesting. The varieties of cocos are Amelonado, upper Amazon, tributaries, cruelly and Hybrids. Cocoa blossoms under a temperature of 15°c to 20°c and rainfall of 125cm to 200cm per annum. It also thrives well in a deep fertile drained loamy soil. It is very important to ferment Cocoa beans. This reduces salty and helps in producing a well-graded product. There are three ways of fermentation viz;
There are three ways of fermentation viz;
– Traying method
– Heaping method
– Sweat-boxing method
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The cocoa production plays a vital role in growing the economy of this country. Cocoa has been the leading agricultural product being exported to another County as a source of earnings. Going back to the history Lane, South-west has been the home of Cocoa. The great men called farmers from Ilesha of Osun state, Oyo state especially in Ibadan and Egba land people of Ekiti State. The cultivation later spread to the people of Ondo town of Ondo state, Grogan and Ife.
It is crystal clear that the days of oil booms have gone. Nigeria has been over-depending on oil as her main source of income. Without a doubt, this is a hard time for this country in which over-reliance on oil has brought us where we are today. The oil is no more marketable in the world market. It is high time we went back to the main source where Nigeria started a prior.
The late Chief Obafemi Awolowo did not rely upon or use oil money to make those great things they did then in their days. Therefore, it is pertinent we go back to the same way these great leaders did then to make all those wonderful things. Though some people may call it the old or past way it is audible for the deaf and visible to the blind that Cocoa can bring back the Fortune of this country.
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The role of Cocoa in National Economic Transformation cannot be overemphasized, let us examine some of its roles.
Firstly, Cocoa serves as a source of foreign exchange earnings to Nigeria in the late 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s whereby Cocoa was exported to Europe as a foreign exchange. This, apart from putting the nation’s name on International map, also yield income to the nation and made our economy to be buoyant. The roles of Cocoa in National economic transformation are too numerous to mention.
In addition, many other roles Cocoa plays in the Nigeria Economy is very germane. Let’s take a look at our beverages E.g Ovaltine, Pronto, Bournvita, chocolate, choco milk and much other more, all these the raw material is Cocoa. Its production requires human force. These human forces being employed workers reduce the rate of unemployment in the country. Let’s, however, take a look at our Cocoa farmlands in Nigeria. Cocoa farmers are part of the populace. Engaging them on the farm reduces the unemployment rate in Nigeria.
Moreover, plantation of this product should be encouraged in order to diversify our economy. Cocoa is, therefore, a good source of economic diversification. It changes our mono-economy base whereby the nation depends on crude oil.
Furthermore, consumption of beverages by team populace of the nation helps in reducing health problems associated with malnutrition. This, in turn, helps in reducing health problems of the nation.
Finally, government at various levels should provide incentives to genuine farmers so as to encourage them in order that Nigeria would be able to meet the global challenges in the cultivation of the product.