The Osun State government has concluded plans to celebrate this year’s Cocoa festival.
The state government is organizing the programme in conjunction with the Eti-oni Community and some other corporate organizations.
Briefing journalists on Monday at the Ministry of Agriculture, Government Secretariat, Osogbo, the Oloni of Eti-oni, Oba Thompson Adedokun said the Cocoa Festival which is an initiative of the Eti-Oni Development Group, was an authentic celebration of the cultural heritage of Eti-Oni.
Oba Adedokun said this year celebration is tagged: The Royal Origins and Traditions of Cocoa for Sustainability, saying they are celebrating 121 years of continued production of cocoa in Eti-Oni.
Oba Adedokun who appreciated the government in Nigeria and Osun in particular in their bid to rejuvenate the economy through agriculture, noted that creating a renaissance in the cocoa industry and build bridges between production and consumption would help achieve sustainable development and also improve the tourism sector in the state.
He said stakeholders are needed to support the government in the area of value added to agriculture, renewable energy and also an excellent social service delivery which would help boast cocoa production to enable it compete in the international markets.
” There is rapid increase in agriculture development and stakeholders are needed to support the government in the areas of value added to agriculture, renewable energy which would help to create an excellent social service delivery, ” Adedokun added.
According to him, such synergy would help create opportunities in the area of education, retail and hospitality business, as well as technology development to grasp what is offer in today’s digital world.
Giving the insight on the activities heralding the festival, the monarch said that the week long programme would begin on Sunday 26 of November with the Harvest Service at All Saints Anglican Church Eti-Oni and end on December 2nd with the parade in music, dance, poetry and drama among others hepnotizing programmes.
The Chairman of Osun Produced Board (OPB) , Dr Yemi Adegoke, also stressed the need to revitalize cocoa production which would help boast the economy of the country and create wealth .
Adegoke said that cocoa has been the major cash crop used to develop the country and also boast the economy even before the inception of crude oil in the 1970s.
He said that Eti Oni was the first place in Nigeria where cocoa production was first cultivated .
According to him, cocoa production would be 121-years of continued production especially at Eti Oni, urging stakeholders to rally round the government in order to boast the agriculture sector and cocoa production.
Dr Charles Akinola, Chairman of O’ Reap in Osun , urged cocoa partners , famers , and international marketers to support the cocoa festival coming soon which would help to bring people into cocoa development and also reenacting things in the Agric sector.
Akinola , however , thanked the state government in putting more concern especially to the agricultural sector and also urged the government to do more on forward integration by engaging stakeholders to ensure global and quality standard and enable its agricultural produced compete in the international markets.