Suspend regulation on cocoa, others, FACAN tells Ayade.
HE Federation of Agricultural Commodity Association of Nigeria, FACAN, Monday, called on the Governor of Cross River State, Prof Ben Ayade, to suspend proposed regulation on cocoa farmers and others.
Speaking on the move by Ayade, President, FACAN, Dr Victor Iyama, said the regulations infringes on the rights of farmers in the State, hence the Governor should discontinue his regulation on cocoa and other agricultural produce.
Iyama in an interview decried the regulation coming under the auspices of an Executive Order Bill initiated by Ayade, which he said is against farmers’ productivity and could demoralize them as it deprives them of enjoying the forces of demand and supply as far as cocoa is concerned.
He added by describing the action of the government as economically parochial to agricultural development in the State.
He said: “Going the path of disallowing farmers to sell to buyers of their choice is like bringing back the woe of Cocoa Board years of policy suffering of price exploitation, which was the reason former President Ibrahim Babagida abolished the Board for open market economy over 36 years ago.
“We are using the occasion to call on the APC chairman to prevail of Governor Ayade to desist from the pursue of this law that is already at the state Assembly receiving attention. We the body of FACAN and Cocoa Association of Nigeria, CAN, was against the proposed law.
“The new law will not in any way benefit farmers but will rather create unemployment to their children who have already engaged at the value chains of cocoa productivity and other agricultural produce as importers and other stakeholders at the value of all these crops will also be rendered jobless.”
According to him, such retrogressive policy is capable of rendering farmers, their children engaged as 36 local buyers, merchants and importers jobless following the proposed bill’s target make it illegal for farmers and others on the cocoa value chain and others to sell agricultural produce outside Cross River State, rather to sell directly and alone to the government owned company, which impedes farmers’ right to sell to other customers of their choice.
He referred to the Ghanaian cocoa farmers who have been gagged and caged by their Cocoa Board system, and that situation should not be accepted in Nigeria.