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September 19, 2010

Nigerian cocoa risks EU ban over use of agrochemicals

Nigeria may be on the verge of losing out in the cocoa export business at the end of the year for failing to to comply with the European Union's standard requirement of chemicals used in the production of the commodity.

The International Cocoa Organisation - the United Nation's regulatory body for the commodity has said that Nigeria's cocoa export has been found to be of low standard due to the discovery of substandard pesticides used in its production.

Akin Gbadamosi, National Chairman, Cocoa Association of Nigeria, raised the apprehension at the one-day Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC's) cocoa export development interactive session in Lagos, recently, adding however, that the Federal Government order the nation's security agencies, to take urgent steps to stop the continued importatation of different substandard chemicals into the country, as a way of protecting the lives of the people, especially the farmers, who risk being out of jobs if the EU ban takes effect. 

On the effect of EU's ban, Gbadamosi said that the implication would affect adversely the growth of the nation's economy, stressing that agriculture contributes 41.48 per cent to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP), of which cocoa contributes 27 per cent.


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