RMRDC gives 5,000 tea, coffee seedlings to farmers in Taraba
Tea and Coffee farmers in Taraba State were, on Tuesday in Abuja, presented with about 5,000 seedlings of tea and coffee donated by the Raw Material Research and Development Council (RMRDC).
Speaking at the event, the DirectorGeneral of the RMRDC, Dr. Hussaini Doko Ibrahim, regretted that the country recorded zero percentage in coffee production for the first four months of 2015 despite the fact that coffee consumption by Nigerians has continued to increase.
He noted that Nigeria has enormous potentials for tea production, especially in the Mambilla Plateau, but the total tea production in Nigeria is not important in the global market, insisting that its production meets only about 25 percent requirement of tea packers and that most of the tea bags sold in Nigeria are imported.
Dr. Ibrahim, who was represented by the council’s director in-charge of Agriculture and Agro-Allied, Abimbola Ogunwusi, however, noted that with adequate planning, Nigeria can make over USD60 million through coffee exports on annual basis, saying the global demand for Nigerian coffee is very high.
In his remark, the National President of the National Coffee & Tea Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Akin Gbadamosi, enumerated the various benefits of drinking coffee and tea and urged Nigerians to support its production nation-wide.
The Senator Representing Taraba Central in the Senate, Yusuf A. Yusuf, stressed the need for a law that will protect the production and processing tea and coffee in the country, saying he will personally lead the campaign.
Representative of tea and coffee farmers in Mambilla-Plateau, Adamu Danjuma Buba, while thanking RMRDC for the gesture, called for government’s assistance in the area of fertiliser, pesticides and access to loan.
The seedlings were donated to the farmers under the RMRDC’s boosting of agricultural raw material for industrial use programme and the event was well attended by stakeholders in the agricultural sector including the representatives of Ministry of Agriculture.
Senator representing Taraba Central, Yusuf A. Yusuf (centre) presents, on behalf of RMRDC, a sample of coffee seedling to representative of Coffe and Tea farmers in Mambilla-Plateau, Taraba State