The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation has called for improved soil fertility to boost cocoa production in Nigeria and other cocoa-producing countries in Africa.
A Senior Adviser at NORAD, Daniel van Gilst, on Thursday at the 2022 CocoaSoils Forum held at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan said there was the need for an alternative to chemical fertilizers.
He said the war in Ukraine and other factors had caused inorganic fertilizers to be more expensive and unavailable in some countries.
He said, “The steady increase of energy prices over time and the recent war in Ukraine, has caused fertilizer and other input costs to soar in price. Availability of inputs is also becoming difficult in some countries. This will affect access and consequently will affect the cocoa production negatively.
“There is, therefore, a need to look at alternatives to chemical fertilizers. There is a need to look at the production system. Is it sustainable under the present and near future conditions? Should satellite trials include other/different trials that could assist farmers in financially stressed times – like Biochar As a way to see if it should be taken up by a core trial?
“Sustainable cocoa systems which people can live off and is not harmful to the environment is our goal – All aspects of that production system need to be under the loop.”