• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

FG boosts kolanut cultivation with 5,000 seedlings to farmers

kolanut cultivation

As part of Federal Government’s effort to drive massive kolanut cultivation across the country, coupled with the mission to create wealth locally and increase foreign earnings from kolanut exports, the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) has distributed 5,000 improved kolanut seedlings to farmers in Ogun state.

The distribution of 5,000 improved kolanut seedlings to hundreds of farmers in Ogun state was prompted by the friendly vegetation and tropical rainforest nature of the state that could help improved kolanut seedlings germinate fast and yields more fruits, thereby increasing kolanut production and earnings from kolanut sales.

BusinessDay reports that stimulants such as caffeine, alkaloids and chemical components used in the pharmaceutical and chemical industry are derived from the two primary species of kolanut, namely, Cola acuminata and Cola nitida apart from consumption and culturally ceremonial uses of the kolanut, and Nigeria produces 168,000 tonnes out of 280,000 tonnes of the World annual production.

Speaking at the presentation of 5,000 improved seedlings to hundreds of farmers under the aegis of Kolanut/Bitter Kola Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria, Ogun state chapter in Abeokuta recently, Hussein Ibrahim, Professor and Director-General of RMRDC, noted that the massive distribution of kolanut seedlings by Federal Government was strategic and meant to replace existing and ageing trees that are having low yields.

The Director-General, who was represented by Gabriel Awolehin, Director of Agriculture and Agro-Allied Department, said that “the Council in collaboration with the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), Ibadan, produced 5,000 improved kolanut seedlings for distribution to the Kolanut/Bitter Kola Producers, Mareleters and Exporters Association of Nigeria for further multiplication of kolanut in the country.

” It is my firm belief that this initiative would promote the sustainable production of kolanut in the State, as well as stimulate investment opportunities in the entire value chain of kolanut in Nigeria. I also want to implore the kolanut farmers to adopt agronomic best practices that would support the growth of the crop so that in the next 3-4 years, the farmers would start harvesting the fruits.”

Speaking on behalf of Ogun state government, Abosede Ogunleye, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, stated that the distribution of kolanut seedlings to farmers would scale up production and increase earnings to farmers and government, adding that the State government would follow up the distribution of kolanut seedlings done by RMRDC by training the benefitting farmers with proper planting methods.

Segun Soyooye, Chairman, Kolanut/Bitter Kola Producers and Marketers Association, Ogun state chapter, lauded Federal Government and Ministry of Science and Technology through Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) for giving them kolanut seedlings that gestate between 3-5 years unlike that of 10 -15 years, but requested Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) to help link farmers with off takers and exporters of kolanuts for better sales and earnings.

 

RAZAQ AYINLA