National Cocoa Research Institute Akure (ARCH) Design Report
Research as this thesis is concerned and to other areas in particular, plays a very important role in improvement in all facts of life. Improvements in industry, communication, education and other aspects of science even in agriculture. Started largely from research. For instance the exploitation of minerals both in the sea, the earth’s crust and moon even other outer space exploration could not have been possible without research. Before Nigeria started prospecting oil for commercial purposes in 1958, (that is, before the oil boom). Its economy was solely dependent on the agricultural products, mostly cash crops. These crops include coffee, cocoa, oil palm, rubber, timer and so on. While cocoa is one of the leading crops that was the Hub of Nigeria economy that enhanced her foreign exchange before crude-oil was discovered. In the days of the oil boom, Nigeria however turned its back to those cash crops, especially “cocoa” when it discovered that there is more money in crude-oil. Agriculture generally was sadly neglected. To improve this situation, as to bring back the glory of agriculture and to improve in the productivities of the farm produce the need for agriculturally based research centers becomes pertinent. In the area of agricultural research and agricultural extension services, in the past, were directed more to crops than to the farmers producing them. This trend has led to the apparent decrease in the production of cocoa and lack of progress in the cocoa industries in the country. There is therefore the need to resuscitate and improve our cocoa production. It is therefore evident from the issues mentioned above that for us to become self-sufficient and economically self reliant intensive research must be carried out in the cocoa sector. It is on these grounds that I have decided to propose a cocoa research institute that will be located at Akure. The capital of Ondo State, which is the largest cocoa producing state in the country. The institute will carry out basic and applied research in the production area of cocoa and improve the quality producing. It will also seek to find out other ways in which the bye products can be utilized through applied research. This will encourage the take off of more indigenous industries that will use the local raw materials and its bye-products. The institute will also help to improve our traditional farming techniques and agro-industrial production by rendering adequate agricultural extension services to farmers and industrialists alike. This will be carried out by the extension unit of the institute which will ensure that new techniques and products developed reach the farmers and industrialists and the problems from the requiring solutions are fed back to and investigated by the institute. Presently, there is an existing cocoa research institute in the country, situated at Ibadan and it combines its research on cocoa, kolanuts, cashew and coffee. But this proposal will concentrate only on basic and applied research on cocoa alone, including the staff quarters for efficiency. It should be mentioned here, at this juncture, that the existing cocoa research institute is not well planned. It is therefore my desire, using the medium of architecture to contribute my own quota, not only to revamping agricultural production in Nigeria but to provide a suitable and conducive environment for efficient research work. I strongly believe that if this proposal is implemented by the government it will go a long way to developing a virile cocoa industry in Nigeria.