The Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on Thursday, 14th April, 2016 said the state in no distant time will become the hub of cocoa production in the country with the revival of the moribund Osun Cocoa Production Industry.
The Governor stated this during a facility tour of the newly resuscitated Cocoa Production Industry in Ede in partnership with a Chinese Company, Golden Monkey of China.
The partnership between Government of Osun and Golden Monkey China to revive the cocoa production after fifteen years is a 70-30 equity.
Aregbesola noted that the strength of the production industry is a thing of joy to the state going by the present production capacity of twenty thousand metric tons compared to its five thousand tons capacity in 2001 before the factory was abandoned.
He held that the Cocoa Production Industry in Ede will go a long way to support the state’s agricultural plan and efforts at developing Cocoa farming in the state.
The Governor commended the partnering company for its commitment to the contractual agreement by hitting the ground running with a factory that is with a capacity that is four time higher than what the maximum capacity of the industry before it became moribund.
Aregbesola after the facility tour said, “From my projection, I want them to increase the strength of their production by consistently taking their production from liquid to powder and cake.
“With this production, the name of our state will be on the map of the world as a centre of excellence in the processing of cocoa and other products. Though the maximum capacity of this plant when it was operated last in 2001 was 5, 000 tons but now, it is producing 20, 000 tons.
“We praise those who have made it possible especially for putting in their best to make it a reality. We are highly optimistic that this centre will support our agricultural efforts and economic drive to empower our cocoa farmers and merchants”.
Earlier, the Assistant General Manager of Skyron Cocoa Production Industry, Song Lin said the management had increased and multiplied the production capacity four times than what they met before the agreement.
She revealed that the company is presently producing cocoa liquid, adding that in no time, the organisation would be producing both cocoa powder and cake.
Song also affirmed that as soon as the company installs more facilities, the company would definitely jerk up its production capacity.
She said, “Our cocoa liquid production at present is now 20, 000 metric tons as against 5000 capacity the industry generated before. Our future plan after finishing our installation is to ensure that will increase the production capacity.
“Though we are only producing cocoa liquid now but aiming to enhance our production to cocoa powder and cocoa cake so as to make up the complete production of this industry as this is the major production around the world”. She stressed.
Speaking on the modality of government and the Chinese investors, the Chairman Board of Directors, Skyrun Cocoa Production Industry, Chief Adewale Adeeyo said the state has invested a lot of energy to make the project a reality.
Chief Adeeyo pointed out that with the resuscitation of the company, the business of cocoa produce buyers and farmers has been positively rejuvenated, saying cocoa suppliers have been coming regularly to the industry to do business.
He said the state is looking forward towards establishing a robust economic activities, thus turning the state to food producing state.
According to him, “We have done environmental impact on these facilities which has attracted investors for better productivity.
“We are working round the clock to ensure that this state, through our company, will soon be the hub of cocoa exportation in the world just as the company has been exporting cocoa to China and Europe presently.
“We also setting in motion means that will ensure that Skyrun Cocoa production industry will channel energy to ensure that it extend its capacity beyond the present state in not too long a period”.