Sometime ago, the State Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding ( MOU), with a United States of American concern, SPAGNVOLA Chocolate LLC, for the establishment of a Cocoa Academy in the state.
By the terms of the agreement, the academy is expected to train indigenes of the state to process cocoa to chocolate. It will also enhance the wealth of farmers and improve agriculture in the state.
Signing the MOU on behalf of State on Friday, the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Aderotimi Adelola , said government is embarking on Cocoa revolution which encompasses an improved production of Cocoa beans, more profitable marketing of Cocoa by Farmers and processing of Cocoa into finished consumer product.
The SSG stressed that with the establishment of the academy, Ondo State indigenes will be trained on how to convert cocoa to various end products, particularly chocolate, which will transform farmers from mere producers of cocoa beans to manufacturers of end – products.
Similarly, the establishment of the academy is aimed at the revolutionizing of Cocoa , which would be in phases and encompass improved production of cocoa beans, more profitable marketing of cocoa by farmers and processing of cocoa into finished consumer product.
This development is good news to the efforts of the State Government to revamp the agricultural sector in the state and use it as a catalyst for job creation to teeming youths and unemployed citizens, as well as industrial development.
It is equally cheering news, as it shows seriousness on the part of the Mimiko administration to diversify the state’s economy.
For too long, the country has lost value to its natural resources, as they have been taken abroad and processed into finished products Nigerians buy at relatively exorbitant prices.
One hopes Stanmark Cocoa Industry , one of the few industrial concerns in Ondo Town , would one way or the other be brought into the picture, as continuous successes of the cocoa industry, portends endless opportunities for the industrial development and economic prosperity of the state.