Nigerian State Government, Israeli firm sign $15m Cocoa City Project Agreement

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The Cross River Government and Israeli Bean & Co. Global Ltd. has signed a full Venture/Public-Private Partnership agreement of 15 million dollars for the establishment of a special cocoa city project in the state.

Bean & Co is owned by Israeli agribusiness firm, LR Group and manages large scale sustainable cocoa plantations worldwide in South America, Africa, Oceania & Asia and produces a wide range of cocoa products for distribution.

The online virtual signing of the agreement was carried out on Wednesday in Calabar, while the Memorandum of Understanding had earlier been signed on Feb. 14.

The Cross River Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Okon Owuna and the Director-General of Cocoa Regeneration Agency, Mr Collins Ogar, signed on behalf of the state government.

The state Commissioner for Justice, Mr Tanko Ashang, witnessed the agreement signing.

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On the side of the Israeli, the Managing Partner, LR Group and Bean & Co, Mr Doron Rette, signed on behalf of the company.

Owuna explained that the agreement has two components, the Agro-Industrial Centre with a processing plant, seedlings nursery and training facility as well as pulp powder and dry cocoa beans for export.

He said that the second component was the Farmers Outgrowers Scheme, which will cover 5,000 to 10,000 hectares of land.

According to him, thousands of farmers will be involved and will operate under the technical protocol of Bean & Co who will buy all their products consisting of the pods and wet cocoa beans.

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The Commissioner said that 65 per cent of the project sum would be covered by Bean & Co and its partners, while the state government would cover the remaining.

“As stated above, this project will increase cocoa farmers’ earnings three times over and increase productivity six times over.

“The project will engage thousands of farmers and employ Crossriverians in the cocoa city plus technology transfer.

“The outgrowing scheme will cover Etung, Ikom, Boki, Obubra, Obudu and Akamkpa which are the cocoa producing local government areas in the state.

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“Under the funding proposal, the farmers will receive about N2.4million loan for four years to cover seedlings, pesticides, fertilizers, training, growing protocols and other necessary inputs,” he said.

He added that due to the long gestation and harvest time for cocoa which takes an average of four years, repayment of the loan would commence in the fifth year.

In his remarks, the DG of Cocoa Regeneration Agency, Ogar, assured that the Ministry and the Agency would work tirelessly to ensure the success of the project.

Speaking through the virtual video conferencing, President of LR Group, Mr Roy Yami, said the contract would be a good investment opportunity for cocoa farmers in the state.

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Nigerian State Government, Israeli firm sign m Cocoa City Project AgreementNigerian State Government, Israeli firm sign m Cocoa City Project Agreement

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Still the same old way of reaping off Africans and cocoa farmers. The cocoa will still be exported and turned into gold. Brought back to Africa to earn $500m.
    Why not establish the value chain industries in cross rivers state and export the finished cocoa products?

  2. No advantage to Cross Rivers State in this deal!!!
    The farmers are just being ripped off again. Please add value to products coming out of our land. The cocoa pod can be used for soap production, Cocoa juice can also be got from it, the dried beans will yield cocoa butter for the cusmetic industry which is more expensive than the cocoa powder that gives chocolate from which the “Nestle’s” of this world make more money than Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana & Nigeria put together makes every year.

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Nigerian State Government, Israeli firm sign m Cocoa City Project AgreementNigerian State Government, Israeli firm sign m Cocoa City Project Agreement

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