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1.1       Background information

Agricultural activities constitute the mainstay of a large proportion of African population. In Nigeria, agriculture has remained the largest sector of the economy.  It generates employment for about 70% of Nigeria’s population and contributes about 40% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with crops accounting for 80%, livestock 13%, forestry 3% and fishery 4% (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2006).  The tree crop sub-sector, of which cocoa is a major component is very important in African agriculture and contributes significantly to the income of farmers. It plays a critical role in sustaining biodiversity, sound management of natural resources and provides additional pathways for the diversification and intensification of food crop systems. The relevance of cocoa to most developing economies cannot be overemphasized as cocoa is produced by more than fifty developing countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America, all of which are in tropical or semi-tropical areas (Ogunleye and Oladeji, 2007).

Cocoa is an important crop to the economies of some countries such as Nigeria, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana and Cameroon in West Africa. It is generally believed that cocoa cultivation in Nigeria started about 1879, when a local chief established a plantation at Bonny in Cross River State, Nigeria. However, cultivation in Bayelsa State, Nigeria, began afterwards in 1892 (Amos, 2007). Cocoa was one of major foreign exchange earners in Nigeria before the discovery of crude oil in 1957. This accounted for a greater part of the foreign exchange generated for the country between the 1950s and 70s. It is a source of employment to millions of people, from farmers to processors, licensed buying agents (LBA), ware housing agents and brokers. It is estimated that over 50% of the foreign exchange derived in Nigeria comes from cocoa alone. In the 1950s, 80% of the foreign exchange generated in the country was from cocoa. The trend however changed in the 1980s when there was a sharp decline in production, resulting in decreased foreign exchange generation {Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), 2007}.

The production of this important cash crop for export has suffered a reduction and unstable production in recent years in the country (Table 1) owing to a number of factors. According to FGN (2007), the decline in production could be attributed to the following causes: advent of the petroleum sector which led to the neglect of agriculture; policies and activities of the Nigerian Cocoa Marketing Board (NCMB) of 1978-1986; non-availability and high cost of cocoa production inputs; activities of middlemen; over-aged and low yielding trees; non-remunerative prices; non- availability of farm labour; old agronomic practices; poor nutrient status of cultivated land; and lack of credit to cocoa farmers.

According to Daramola (2004), the most cocoa farms in Ondo and Osun States are very old with low productivity, while farms in Cross River State are relatively younger and mostly in productive phase. In addition, Oduwole (2004) identified ageing cocoa farms as one of the factors responsible for the decline in cocoa production in south western Nigeria. He observed that many farms were over 40 years old and such farms constituted as much as 60% of the cocoa farms in Nigeria. Other factors that have contributed to the decline in cocoa production included, the problem of pests and diseases, use of poor planting materials, defective methods of harvesting and poor handling of post harvest processes and inefficient agricultural extension services (Fanaye, Adeyemi and Olaiya, 2003; Idowu in Ogunleye and Oladeji, 2007).

Also, data in Table 1 revealed that the country’s average production level of 239,000 metric tons recorded between 1970 and 1974 was far above the production level of 150,200 metric tonnes between 1995 and 1999 probably as a result of abandonment of cocoa farms.

Table 1: Nigeria cocoa production trends between 1967 and year 2009

Period Production level (metric tons)
1967 – 1969227,660
1970 – 1974239,000
1975 – 1979203,000
1980 – 1984152,000
1985 – 1989135,200
1990 – 1994141,000
1995 – 1999150,200
2000 – 2004175,600
2005 – 2009226,000

Sources: Gill and Duffus in Adeogun (2008a); ICCO (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009)

To resuscitate cocoa production and marketing, and hence, salvage the cocoa industry from further decline, there was the need for the intervention of both government and non-government organizations (NGOs). In the recent years, the federal, state and local governments of Nigeria and certain NGOs have been seriously involved in the resuscitation processes. In 1999, the FGN established Cocoa Resuscitation Programme (CRP) which was to be executed by the National Cocoa Development Committee (NCDC). The NCDC was saddled with the responsibilities of :

  • providing inputs such as pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, cutlasses, harvesting hooks, jute bags, rain boots, and rain coats to cocoa farmers;
  • organizing trainings on cocoa rehabilitation techniques, cocoa fermentation and nursery management practices of cocoa; and
  • distributing improved variety seedlings and pods from Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) through Cocoa Development Units (CDUs) or Tree Crop Units (TCUs) to all cocoa producing states in Nigeria (Adeogun, 2008b).

For the success of the programme, the CRIN, which was established in 1964 as a research organization was re-vigorated and re-saddled with a set of new mandates of improving the genetic potential; agronomic and husbandry practices of cocoa; identifying the ecology and methods of controlling pests and diseases affecting the crop; investigating the effective utilization of the crop and its by-products; and the feasibility of small-scale production of such end-use products. Others included integration of the cultivation of the crop into farming system where the crop is grown by farmers; and translation of research results and improved technologies into practice among farmers and manufacturers in order to improve production and socio-economic life of the people.

According to CRIN report (2006), the Institute has achieved the following among others: development and distribution of improved cocoa seedlings tolerance to black pod disease; development of organic-based manure to satisfy fertilizer requirements in cocoa nurseries; identification of Dursan and Actara 2525WP as alternative insecticides to Gamalin 20 E.C; increase in land utilization by intercropping cocoa with cocoyam, yam, cassava, maize, melon, okra and pepper before canopy closure and demonstration and recommendation of rehabilitation methods for old, moribund and/or fire gutted cocoa plantations.

For the efforts of the CRIN to be adequately complimented, the CDU in each cocoa producing state was sufficiently fortified and charged with the responsibility of general development and improvement of improved cocoa as an economic tree crop. The successes recorded included: raising and distribution of cocoa seedlings to farmers at subsidized rate; provision of technical advice to farmers on cultural practices; rehabilitation of old productive cocoa trees; distribution of chemicals and farm equipment at subsidized rate (TCDU, 2008). Each state Ministry of Agriculture was also re-organized for effective dissemination of improved cocoa agronomic practices.

Within the short period of operation, the NCDC had made remarkable achievements. In 2005, the fourteen cocoa producing states raised a total of 5,976,854 seedlings which were distributed free of charge to farmers. Old plantations were also rehabilitated through the application of agrochemicals and better husbandry practices. In order to sustain and improve on these performances, the FGN in 1999 launched a special programme tagged “Cocoa Rebirth” in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria, in order to create awareness of the wealth creation potentials of cocoa, promote increase in production, attract youth into cocoa cultivation, and also raise funds for the development of the industry. A similar one was also held in Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria.  According to Tunde (2007), many of the ailing industries are now waking up. Moribund cocoa industries have been rejuvenated and new farms are also springing up.

Private individuals and organizations such as Saro Agro-Allied Limited (SAL), Sustainable Tree Crops Programme (STCP)-Nigeria and Olam Nigeria Limited (ONL) were also encouraged to participate maximally in the cocoa rehabilitation programme in different states of the federation. The SAL was established in 1991 as an indigenous company whose focus was on the area of procurement, processing and exportation of raw cocoa beans (Oluwakemi, 2008). On the other hand, the STCP-Nigeria is a sub-programme of the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA). It took-off in 2000 and its primary objectives were to enhance productivity of cocoa farms and improve marketing efficiency in the cocoa sector (STCP-Nigeria, 2009).

The ONL is a private, commercial and multi-products company which was established in 1989 by the Kewalram Chanrai Group (KCG), with its headquarters in Singapore and principal office in Lagos. Its regional offices are found in Kano and Akure. It provides what could be called specialized extension services and uses specific agricultural products (such as cocoa, coffee, cashew, sheanuts, sesame, rice and teak wood) as industrial materials. Its cocoa business began in Nigeria in 1992 and it has participated in all aspects of cocoa business like production, marketing and processing, in the cocoa-producing states such as Ondo, Osun, Ekiti, Edo, Ogun, Cross River, Taraba and Adamawa (Olam, 2007).

Available record reveals that ONL had implemented model farming concept (MFC) under the Nucleus Estate Initiatives (NEI), an out-growers’ programme, by reviving old farm settlements and model farms in all cocoa growing states. Besides, it has launched training and awareness programmes, covering about 6,000 farmers and capacity building across the cocoa producing states. The farmers’ plots are taken as demonstration plots on which the practical trainings are done in demonstration farms being managed in Ondo, Osun and Ekiti States. The programme has been instrumental to the observed improved productivity, better quality produce and effective already-made markets for the cocoa farmers and marketers (Akinnagbe, 2008). The organization also introduced Self Help Initiative (SHI) to enhance the crops' sustainability. The SHI gave opportunity to farmers to form co-operatives, share common facility, idea and information (Babatola, 2009).

The activities of these organizations needed to be evaluated to confirm the acclaimed performances. According to Horton et al (1993), evaluation is the act of judging, appraising or determining the value or quality of a programme, whether it is proposed, on-going or completed. It is also the process of providing reliable, valid, relevant and useful information to decision makers about the operation and effects of social programmes (Alkin, 1990). On the other hand, project effect is the outcome of a variable on target beneficiaries, while impact evaluation assesses changes in the well-being of individuals, households, communities or firms. Impact evaluation is aimed at providing feedback to help improve the design of programmes and policies. It also deals with the effects of the intervention programme’s outputs on the target beneficiaries.


1.2       Problem statement

Despite the continued efforts of the government and non-governmental organizations to improve cocoa production through series of resuscitation programmes in the country, report showed that the increase in cocoa production had not been linear. Data in Table 2 show that, between 2004/2005 and 2008/2009, only 1.94% increase was recorded in Nigeria cocoa production. The total productivity increased from 206,000 tonnes in 2004/2005 to 214,000 tonnes in 2005/2006 but decreased to 185,000 tonnes in 2006/2007. However, an increase was noticed at the end of 2008 (from 185,000 tonnes to 200,000 tonnes) compared to the highest value recorded between 1967 and 1999 (Table 1) before the commencement of the resuscitation programmes in Nigeria (http://www.icco.org). In spite of this, Yinka (2010) reported that, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) had expressed dissatisfaction over the dwindling fortunes of cocoa production in the country. The council lamented that the development had been having a negative impact on the nation’s foreign exchange earnings from commodity export.











Table 2: Cocoa production statistics in cocoa producing countries












% Change

Total production (‘000 tonnes )3,4213,7623,4213,6632.48%
% change-2.1%10.0%-9.1%7.1%-
Total Africa2,4142,6472,3782,6020.29%
% change-3.5%9.7%-10.2%9.4% 
Cote d’Ivoire1,4261,5571,4221,431-12.34%
Other Africa3944465469.23%
Total Asia and Oceania56968163561411.95%
% Change3.9%19.6%-6.8%-3.3%-
Other Asia7379828216.44%
Total America4374344094472.52%
% Change-1.9%-0.8%-5.9%9.4%-
Other Latin America15216016717215.79%

Source:  ICCO, USDA, Reuters, LMC estimates April 2009. Retrieved from http://www.icco.org


From the foregoing and after 10 years of existence of the programmes, certain production and socio-economic impact questions become relevant. The questions now relate to the performance of the government and non-governmental programmes and their impact on cocoa production and socio-economic life of the cocoa farmers in the cocoa producing states in southwestern Nigeria. (i) What are the levels of adoption of cocoa improved technologies introduced to the farmers through the programmes? (ii) How do the beneficiaries perceive the helpfulness of the relevant agencies in the consideration and adoption of improved cocoa technologies? (iii) What impact do these programmes have on cocoa production and socio-economic life of the cocoa farmers? (iv) What are the constraints to the adoption of improved cocoa technologies by the farmers? (v) What are the problems militating against effective implementation and acceptance of the cocoa resuscitation programmes? (vi) What are the required strategies to improve on the activities of the cocoa resuscitation programmes? and (vii) What kind of attitude do farmers have towards cocoa resuscitation programmes? This study was therefore designed to provide answers to the questions posed above.


1.3       Purpose of the study

The purpose of the study was to evaluate cocoa resuscitation programmes in South West Nigeria.

Specifically, the study was designed to:

  1. determine the adoption levels of the various improved cocoa technologies introduced to cocoa farmers by the government and non governmental agencies;
  2. ascertain the beneficiaries’ perception of the helpfulness of the relevant agencies in the consideration and adoption of the improved cocoa technologies;
  3. determine the impact of the programmes on cocoa production and socio-economic life of the cocoa farmers;
  4. ascertain the perceived constraints to the adoption of improved cocoa technologies by the farmers;
  5. identify the perceived constraints to the implementation of cocoa resuscitation programmes;
  6. identify strategies to improve on the activities of the programmes; and
  7. determine farmers’ attitude towards cocoa resuscitation programmes





1.4       Hypotheses of the study

Hypotheses of the study were stated in the null form. In any project, and throughout the project cycle, there is need not only for routine collection of data through monitoring or continuous assessment, but also for evaluation and assessment of impact. Previous studies (Adebiyi, 2008; Adeogun, 2008; Agbamu, 2006; Ekong, 2003; Jibowu, 1992) have shown that there are socio-economic and personal characteristics of the farmers that influence adoption at the individual level. These characteristics were age, farm size, income level, participation in social organization(s) and contact with extension agents among others. Thus, the following hypotheses were designed to guide this study.

  • There is no significant difference in the socio-economic life of the beneficiary farmers and non-beneficiary farmers after the commencement of CRPs in 2009;
  • There is no significant relationship between the socio-economic characteristics of the beneficiary famers and adoption of improved cocoa technologies; and
  • There is no significant difference between the perceptions of the respondents on constraints to the adoption of improved cocoa technologies.


1.5       Significance of the study

An independent evaluation of the cocoa resuscitation programmes would help to objectively study comprehensively, their experiences and impact on cocoa production and the target cocoa farmers as a basis for future policy formulation and project design. It is hoped that the findings of this study would give the farmers and the public, the privilege to know more about the activities of the programmes and the impact. Besides, the major weak points in the programmes implementation would be revealed and these could be used as checks and balances by the policy makers and implementers in the planning, designing and execution of subsequent similar programmes in the study area or elsewhere.

It is also hoped that the findings of the study would bring to light, the relationship between government and non-governmental agencies and the need for their mutual cooperation, integration and coordination for effective agricultural and rural development devoid of unnecessary duplication of efforts in Nigeria. Finally, the study could serve as a base for further scholastic researches. The result will be of immense value to future researchers. The findings will be made available to the stakeholders through presentations at conferences/workshops and publications in reputable, widely read journals and proceedings.




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