The Cross River state government has said it was raising 100,000 cocoa nurseries to help revamp cocoa farms in the southern senatorial district of the state.
It state said the gesture, in line with its ongoing massive cocoa revolution across the state, was aimed at becoming the leading cocoa producer globally.
The special adviser to Governor Ben Ayade on Cocoa Control and Development, Dr. Oscar Ofuka, said this in Calabar, Tuesday, during the unveiling of the 100,000 cocoa seedlings being raised at the CRBC demonstration farm, Calabar.
Dr. Ofuka said the cocoa nurseries would be given to farmers free and that with the gesture, moribund estates that had outlived their usefulness would be regenerated thereby giving such plantations new lease of life.
“The governor, who is my boss, is more emphatic about complete renovation of cocoa production. Cocoa which was abandoned decades backwards when oil was discovered in the country will become the mainstay of the economy of the state.
“Today, cocoa is the new gold. It is a money- spinning venture which if many go into, stand the chance of making many become billionaires.
“I urge young and energetic people of Cross River state to venture into cultivation of cocoa if they have the zeal to better themselves.
“With this initiative of regenerating old plantations, the ultra-modern cocoa processing factory, constructed by the Ben Ayade-led administration won’t lack the basic raw materials to feed the cocoa factory when it becomes fully operational.
“The brand of cocoa nursery we are raising here is organic cocoa that would be devoid of chemical usage to nurture the cocoa pods,” he stated.
He called on all Cross Riverians to key into the Ayade’s cocoa revolution policy.