A Diagnostic Study of Constraints to Achieving Yield Potentials of Cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) Varieties and Farm Productivity in Nigeria

  •  Peter Aikpokpodion    
  •  Stephen Adeogun    


Increasing farm productivity is a major breeding objective in crop improvement of any crop species. However, there is usually a gap between yields reported in experimental station and that obtained by farmers. In this study, diagnostic tools of Metaplan, Pair wise ranking, Stakeholders’ analysis and Venn diagram were used within a participatory Focus Group Discussion (FGD) with farmers in the three major cocoa growing States of Nigeria, namely, Ondo, Osun and Cross River States to identify causes of low farm productivity and constraints to cocoa cultivation in Nigeria. Results showed the black pod disease (Phytophthora pod rot), old age of cocoa trees, poor access to improved planting materials, termite infestation and insufficient chemicals as the most important factors responsible for low cocoa yields obtained by farmers. We also found that local buying agents, extension outfits of national agricultural development projects (ADPs) and farmer field schools (FFS) and farmers’ organizations (FOs) were the closest stakeholders to cocoa farmers in the States investigated. This study revealed the need for development of improved cocoa varieties that are resistant to the black pod disease and a functional system of seed distribution to facilitate greater access to improved varieties. We therefore suggest that programmes should be designed to increase farmers’ access to improved planting materials, inputs, finance and involvement in participatory problem-identification and solution strategies development process.

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