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No practising cocoa farmers '11 reject or condemn GES scheme -CAN President The National President, Cocoa Association of Nlgeria (CAN), Mr Saylma R1lm.an, spoke with Tribune Agriculture on various issues relating to the development of cocoa sector 0 the country and most importantly. the controversy trailing the authenticity and effectiveness of the four agrochemicals procured and distributed to cocoa farmers ~, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture. to boost cocoa production in the country. Seye Ad.enIyl brings the excerpts:

pretend not to be QILIClne of the controuers-y ooer the agro-ch.emlcals the Growt.h Enho.ncement Support which the Federal Gouernm.e nt, Federal arinf.stry of Agf'iculture. f.s ~=a J'a'm"~ In the countTy in order , Increase (heir production output. Why cr1.!IW at this point in time? We:11. rm Il ( t aware of any crtsls or controversy o\·er the I:iSUC, probably you have to educate or e n lighten In'! b ':t er on whal yo u meant by this. The Uudo nal President Of Cocoa Farmers Asso cla.tlon of Nigeria (CYAN). your sister organbatioll. made an allegation that the four agro-che Jlticals being gluen to cocoafarmers by the Fe~l"al It Inlstry of Agriculture are hClTJJ\ful to FOCOCJ trees? ILaugo ... 1 We n eed to as k the leadership of the coCoa Furmer-s Association of Nigeria (CFAN) o r whoeyer mal' ')t' laying thallo come o u l with proveable or crcdlbl '~ e\1!1ence. Such a n observatJon could be descr1bc<:1 ~ IX!.d. destructive, malicious and unncce:ssary. Uune'it y. If It Is the president or CFAN that Is !laying- that ns you claimed, then I would say It Is very U~lI"tUn.ltc and not a ~ lhb~ Wby must we caD a dog a 'Ta'i name stmply to kill It? It Is not ~ ro.- our developme.1L

Seoonply, I '.vo n' t like to Join Issues wtth CFAN o r lheirl' t:a d ~lshl p , but I wlll J ust s ay that the ir allegauon . and comp laint Is maliciou s and base~ less. The Ifls u e If> that how many of those who are. complal!.lng I,r condemning UlC GES scheme 00 come to the mttUng:lf ~Ich meedng an!' you talking about and lDho are those you are referring to? I " Iant to h~ lIeve that most of the farmers con~ demnJng the fow agro·c h emlcals the Federa1 MlnLs~ try of Agr1cul wre Is giving to COC"Oa farmers In Ute coun lly under the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) progtaJlune are either nCW!lpaper farmen or pollUcal farm en. RegJsle~d and prncUslng cocoa farm ers won'j .10 thai because they know that the GES sch~lDe Is not o nly real. It Is also s upportJvc. credible IUld nlmt'd al boosting cocoa producUon. Who are Ifn registered and authentic cocoa farmers you CU"e referring to and who are the p0litIcal/newspaper farmers? Well , 'What is bc.lng done through the Growth Enhancement ! ;upport IGES) scheme 19 to help c0coa farm ers t1 :rease their output and to oall the cofIln ,of the sGj called middlemen whom I described as newspaper Cir elU,er polJucal farmen. pracUsltg cocoa farmer thal wants progress. any cFa faJ d ,er l h al wants govern ment's assls~ lance ~ml su ~p ort would embrace GES scheme and wo uld belong Il, our assoclatlon. that Is. Cocoa As~ sodatlon of NI{:erla (CANI. WfLat ls so special about the GES scheme that you',. emphu.f(ng on it and why calUng on ~ coa.farmersl": the country tojo(n hands lDfth the gourmm.ent the scheme? GES ·ts mea! t to revolutJonallsc and revamp cacoa ' indus try and to discou rage the middlemen. lltrough the CES scheme, gOvcnwlenl Is coming dL~ recUy ~o COCOi'. farmers to know thetr problmJS and provld,e soluUl)fls . Ho nestly, we must commend Ule Ft'der.il Govemmerlt through the MlnLster of AgrIcuI ~ lure. Or Akln9l\lml AdeSlna ror the scheme. BrlVly upluln the modus

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scheme? Uke I told you before, GES scheme wUl knock oul the middlemen In farmtng proression. The chemIcals that a~ bclng used, which some people are condemning In Ignorance, are chemicals Inpu ts recognised ' and approved internationally. On how GES operate, what the government Is doIng Is Utat It M il send a special pin number to Ute mobile phones of farmers and the farmers will take Ute num ber sent to his phone to registered, a ccredIted and designated ag ro·input dealers 10 collect the c hemJcals. Concerning the payment fo r the chemicals. the Federa1 Govemmenl will pay 25 per cent of the tolal amount of th e c hemicals, whLle the state govern ments and the farmers will pay 25 and 50 per cent respectively. Can we then say that CFM does not understand aU these Il$fiful IrlformaHon? If you say so, I wLII also queue behind you to say yes. in fact, CFAN don't understand these processes. The GES model. I would emphasise. Is the best for Carmen, so If CFAN docs not know this. It should not condemn U. Ra Uu:r. I will advice their leade r~ ship to maintain Ulelr sLlence. Between CFM and CAN. which is more authen· tic that will benefit cocoa farmers? You cannot compare CFAN to CAN. Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN) Is the most recognised, and internationally approved and recognJsed cocoa farm · en union. CAN Is the o nly umbrella body fo r cocoa farm ers In Nigeria known to the InternaUo nal commW1.lUes. In fa c t, the World Cocoa FoundaUon and

the InlcmaUon al Cocoa Organis ation (lCO) a p -

prec iate CAN and have advised Nlgerlan- cocoa fann ers to join CAN be-

cause we can boast of over 250,000 reglslned cocoa fanners. What is CAN doing to help coc:oo. fo..rmers In the country?

We are doing a lot and one of It Is the data base s urvey which the association Is doing. With this exercise. we are going to have a data base of all the cocoa farmen In Nigeria and we a rc also coming out with a body Ulat Is open to Ideas. We will lnJUate programmes and Implement them. but I will a d vice cocoa farmen to come unde r o ne umbrr:U a~ (CAN) to achieve all Ulese laudable programmes. There Is no imposlUon of leallenhlp. In CAN un~ like o ther unpopular assoclaUo ns . You can ImagIne. how can anybody, who Is a practising cocoa farmer In the country be saying t he government Is buying dangerous c hemicals for farmers? We need 10 ask CFAN where thcy gol such a dirty information . What would you say about the present Minis· ter of Agric ulture and how would you rate his performance since Mr President have said we should aor:us theper:[ormance of our ministers? There Is a synergy gOing on In the nation agricultural seclor and this Is happening for lhe nrst Ume. I think Or Akinwu m l Adcslna s hould be en· couraged to conUnue the good works. "Ma ny of the programmes bei ng Inl Uated and Implemenled by the present minister are good and CAN as an assoclaUon, s ho uld gU ide It Jealo u s ly for s ustainable s uccess. I can assure you mat the GES sc h eme. as we ll as oth er revolutionary programmes of the Federal Govemment. won·t give room for middlemen again and no farmer wlll take Its paper/ documents to any go~emment omclals or pollUc lans for e ndorseme nt again tMfore Uley can get fe rtIliser or o Uler rarm inputs.

Why our members rejected ministry's chemicals - CFAN

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PARENTI.Y dlssallsned wllh the approach a nd m e lhod of Ihe Fe d eral Ministry of rlcuitu re and Rural Developmenlln the dls~ tJ1buUon or the four agrochemlcals listed on the Growth Enhancement S up port IGES) for cocoa farm en In the country. some cocoa far-men In the country under- the umbrella of the cocoa Farmers AssoclaUo n of Nigeria (CFANI ha ve faulted Lb e process and blamed the mlnlslry for not properly consulung wtth the fanner's assocla Uo n before embarking on the programme:. Addressing reporters recentl y In Osogbo, the OSWl State capital, at a nallonal sununil of cocoa productng stales. comprtslng Oyo, Osun, Dndo, EkJU. Lagos. Ogun. Kwara. Kegl. Edo and Delta states. the Cocoa Farmen AssocJaUo n of Nlger1a (CFAN) Na~ lIo nal J'>resldent, Rahccm Aden lJl, said cocoa farmen decldt'd to re:Ject Ule agro-chemlcals the Federal Mlnlstty of Agriculture plans to buy for them because s uch agro-Inputs reU s hort of those they usually usc for the nurtw1ng of thetr cocoa trees. Speaking at the recc n Uy con cluded national sum ~ mil.., AdenJJI explained that the agro-chemlcals were not u seful to them and as s uch. the assocla Uon wanted President Goodluck Jonathan to tnlervene 80 Ulat chemicals would not compound their producuon problems. He further said , -we had written Mr PreSident before using this forum to Inform him that th e ch emJcals an: being procured agalnsl our request and without due consullaUo n wtth CFAN me mbers. aNol thaI. we have wrttten to the Federa1 a nd Rural Development to II has continued to tgnore Mr President to know that

menl Supporl (OES), where aU the procured agroc hemlcals are kept for Ule COCOli farmers to buy. arc very unsclenUnc-, h e stated . S peaking furth e r, the C FAN Na tio n a l PreSident explained that they do n 't know how 10 explain or even unde:r'Stand Ute reason behind the inclus ion of three dllTerenl brands of agro c he micals of which perform the same work ins ide a Single box purport~ ed.ly meant for the same usage fo! cocoa trecs. -Are they saying dlrrerent brands of agro-ehemlcals s hould be sprayed simultaneous ly? The proposed chemicals Is confusing and could adversely affect o ur cocoa farms and destroy the country's economy In Ule fulure -. the cocoa farmellJ lamenled.


NIGERIAN TRIBUNE, 04 SEPTEMBER, 2012  

No practising cocoa farmers ' ll reject or condemn GES scheme -CAN President

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