Osun State Government has pledged continued support for farmers at the launching of the Royal Cocoa International Film Festivals (RCIFF) as part of the events marking the 8th edition of The Cocoa Festival in the state.
Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, who was represented by the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Adedayo Adewole said the state government was supporting cocoa farmers in the state in many ways to ensure that they farm with ease and make commensurate profit.
Royal Cocoa International Film Festivals is an initiative of Eti-Oni Development Group to promote cocoa renaissance.
Oyetola lauded the Oloni of Eti-Oni, Oba Dokun Thompson Gureje IV for consistently promoting cocoa and pledged support of the state government for cocoa farmers and The Cocoa Festival.
Adewole said though he was there to represent Mr. Governor, he was also present in his own capacity as a farmer and saw the film festival as an initiative to bring young people into agriculture and that the Olori brought another perspective to it, so it was not just about promoting agriculture but how we can all look beyond our differences and work together irrespective of our creed or color of our skin.”
He went on to add: “It’s the start of something new that will be remarkable. Olori, I heard you sing and I will finalize this by saying welcome home and hereby declare the Royal Cocoa International Film Festivals open.”
Oba Dokun Thompson said cocoa farmers are in a very difficult situation and that they were looking for a way out. He said the state government was also doing all it could do to support the cocoa farmers. The traditional ruler said the cocoa farmers must also work to pull themselves out of the difficult situation they have found themselves.
Series of films watched included the “Legend of the Cocoa King”, A 2D animation short film to celebrate Cocoa farmers all over the world, by Oba Dokun Thompson, Executive Produced by Their Majesties of Eti-Oni, Osun State.
Other films included – “Son of the South” by Barry Alexander Brown, Executive Produced by Spike Lee, “5150” by Denzel Whitaker Executive Produced by David Oyelowo, “Come with Me” by Vineesha Arora-Sarin, and Between Mountains by Vineesha Arora-Sarin Executive Produced by Amit Sarin and Queen Angelique-Monet.
President of the Eti-Oni Development Group, Queen Angelique-Monet Gureje-Thompson, Yeyeluwa Olori of Eti-Oni and co-founder of Royal Cocoa International Film Festivals said the initiative was to redefine the continent’s cocoa industry.
She noted that the initiative was to return value to cocoa with a renewed mindset and transform cocoa producing regions so that the farmers can have self worth and self dignity for the coming generation to embrace cocoa farming with pride.
Earlier last week, the Royal Cocoa International Film Festivals was launched virtually to allow international participants who were part of the films that were screened to be part of the festivals which the founders said was a series of festivals to also take place in Lagos, Soufriere in St Lucia, New York and London alongside all the cocoa and chocolate events organised by EDG.