Tulip Cocoa Processing Ltd. (TCP) has tasked cocoa farmers in the country to ensure safe and sustainable use of pesticides for productivity.
TCP is a foreign marketing company that specialises in buying and processing cocoa products for export abroad.
Dr Taiwo Osun, the Sustainability Manager of TCP, made the call on Thursday during the 2019 Farmers Day held in Akure.
The event with the theme: `Sustainable Use of Pesticide’, which was jointly hosted by TCP and Farmers Development Union (FADU), with participants from across the five states of the Southwest
Osun, who explained that the event was meant to celebrate and honour farmers and other stakeholders in the cocoa production value chain in the Southwest, stressed that farmers must be conversant with the use of pesticide to avoid losses.
He said that it had become imperative for all cocoa farmers to use good and quality pesticide that were approved by the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) to ensure acceptability of their cocoa in the international market.
“If you want to sell cocoa in Europe, they want to test whether your cocoa has pesticide residues or not.
“And if farmers do not have adequate knowledge about the use of pesticides, they tend to either over spray or under spray, none of which is good for the health of their cocoa.
“The same goes for the use of substandard or fake pesticides, which, if care is not taken, may reduce the quality of their produce.
“Proper knowledge about use of pesticides will go a long way in helping farmers to achieve increased productivity and income throughout the year,” he said.
Osun said that TCP had trained no fewer than 23,000 farmers across the Southwest since inception of the company in Nigeria about five years ago.
He, therefore, called on government at all levels to construct good roads in the rural areas to assist farmers transport their goods to town.
One of the participants, Mr Festus Orisatuyi, applauded TCP for being the only cocoa farmer-friendly company in the Southwest region.
“TCP is the best cocoa processing company in Nigeria as at today because they are very transparent in their dealings with farmers, unlike others who hide their prices.
“Also all entitlement due to farmers are always promptly paid and they always listen to complaints of farmers with a view to finding a lasting solution to it,” Orisatuyi said.
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