#Agriculture

Surge in cocoa price excites farmers

By Fatima Muraina

Nigerian cocoa farmers are smiling to their banks over  the skyrocketing price of cocoa beans at the international market.

National President, Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN), Comrade Adeola Adegoke stated this while addressing journalists in Lagos.

His words: “currently, we are not envying our counterparts cocoa farmers in Ghana and Ivory Coast due to the system of their cocoa economy which does not give them the opportunity to enjoy the present surge in cocoa prices as a result of their respective cocoa boards.

In fact, we were reliably informed that the price the two respective giant cocoa producing  countries are paying their cocoa farmers were the prices of cocoa as at April, 2023 that was around $ 2,700 per ton.

“Let’s forget the new increment in cocoa prices in Ivory Coast and Ghana of recent where it was done at 50% increments at both countries just last week and this week respectively.

“What Nigeria needs is to firm the control of our cocoa economy in order to increase the production and productivity of our smallholder cocoa farmers’ farms holdings through the provisions of subsidised farm inputs, credit facility, capacity building etc thereby improving their livelihoods.

We must start to regulate and promote the Nigerian cocoa economy through the National Cocoa management Committee (NCMC) where more investment into the sector will be guaranteed if the Committee can achieve stable regulatory framework that controls quality , smuggling, pesticides control, extension management, R&D, traceability, FMAFS & State Cocoa Producing Governments synergy, child labor eradication, deforestation control and National Cocoa Plan implementation .

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“The NCMC must not get involved in buying and selling of cocoa beans except cocoa beans stabilisation support funding in future when necessary especially when cocoa price nosedived downward beyond cocoa farmers economic capacity as being done in other developed countries on other commodities.

“The European Union Deforestation Regulations (EUDR) policy has called for a greater participation of cocoa stakeholders collaboration in order to achieve a national traceability system that guarantees a seamless transparency in our cocoa economy business with sustainability.

“Nigeria has better opportunities to surpass Ivory Coast and Ghana considering the downward sliding of their cocoa production due to pest and disease, climate change, smuggling, miners activities, land degradation, unfavourable cocoa economy governance (government involvement in buying and selling of cocoa beans), poor remuneration of their smallholder cocoa farmers etc.

“With the Nigeria youth population in cocoa industry, and the favourable cocoa governance as far as the recent cocoa prices benefit to the Nigerian cocoa farmers are concerned, the future of the Nigerian cocoa sector will further be brightened with the intervention of the full exercise of the regulatory powers of the industry vested in the hands of NCMC dominated by the private stakeholders of the Nigerian cocoa industry.

“Nigeria is moving towards a sustainable cocoa economy with a renewed hope agenda of the present administration”, he stated.

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