New Telegraph

Nigeria to lose N876bn over decline in cocoa production

About 30 per cent forecast fall in production of cocoa in Nigeria may lead to N876 billion ($562 million) loss in earnings in 2023/24 export. It was gathered that harvest in the country had been projected to fall to 210,000 tonnes ($1.13 billion) from 300,000 tonnes this year due to hot weather, pest and diseases as price of the commodity hit $6,250 per tonne as at February 15 2023, leading to a loss of 30 per cent.

World Bank trade data revealed that more than 60 per cent of the country’s cocoa was being shipped to Europe and about 8 per cent to the United States and Canada. Findings also revealed that export of graded and certified cocoa was traded at $3,889 per metric tonne in January 2024 in the Southwest, leading to 37 per cent in price increase in less than one month. According to the Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN), the commodity is widely produced in Oyo, Ondo, Ekiti and Ogun states which account for 70 per cent of Nigeria’s annual production. Meanwhile, a new research by CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange indicated cocoa prices have been rallying on expectations of lower supplies across the major cocoa producing regions in West Africa, which accounts for almost 70 per cent of the world’s cocoa beans production. Following a recent survey of exporters, pod counters and regulatory officials, 2023-24 cocoa bean production in top producer Ivory Coast was forecast at 1.75 million tonnes, down 550,000 tonnes, or 24 per cent from 2.3 million tonnes in 2022-23 and Nigeria 300,000 tonnes , less by 90,000 tonnes. The International Cocoa Organisation also noted that adverse weather, the rapid spread of swollen shoot disease has had a major impact on cocoa production in the region. It would be recalled that the Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN) had forecast that it would increase production in the country to 500,000 metric tonnes in 2024. It stressed that the increasing Nigeria’s cocoa output would help the country to earn more foreign exchange, a situation that would in turn improve the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The association’s President, Comrade Adeola Adegoke said CFAN’s focus was to surpass the production and production capacity of both Ivory Coast and Ghana by 2027 through a sustainable cocoa production.

The President of the Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN), Mufutau Abolarinwa, explained that members of the association were constrained to pay for all the services like grading fees, handling charges and freight. Meanwhile, The Netherlands is the major consumer of the country’s cocoa beans as at 2022 with $459.2 million imports between 2021 and 2022. The country purchased $259.5 million worth of the beans in 2021 and $200 million from Nigeria in 2022. According to National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the country imported N43.9 billion of the beans in the last quarter of 2022 from Nigeria. In 2022, revenue from the exports of cocoa by Nigeria was N234.89 billion, an improvement of 18.5 per cent over N198.22 billion that was realised from the exports of the same produce in 2021. In Ondo and Ekiti, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) processed 200,564 tonnes of the cocoa bean between 2020 and 2021 laden in 7,163 containers as each box was stacked with 28 tonnes. It would be recalled that the Customs Area Controller for Ondo/Ekiti Command, Helen Uche Ngozi said that a total of 3,991 containers of cocoa beans were exported between January and December, 2021, while 3,172 containers were exported in 2020, indicating a 25.8 per cent increase within one year.

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