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May 27, 2024
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 Cocoa Farmers, Exporters Express Delight Over Price Surge

Clarion Olusegun

The Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN) is delighted by the current pricing system of cocoa and has expressed satisfaction and comfort with the price levels despite the non-implementation of the Living Income Differential (LID).

Specifically, Comrade Adeola Adegoke, CFAN National President, stated in a press release made available to AgroNigeria yesterday that farmers in the cocoa industry are pleased with the industry’s current pricing structure, considering the recent surge in cocoa prices on the international market.

Part of the statement reads: “Cocoa farmers are currently enjoying our best moment due to the skyrocketing prices of cocoa beans in the international markets, especially considering Nigeria’s deregulated cocoa economy since the abolition of the cocoa board in 1986.”

He added that cocoa farmers in Nigeria are neither negatively affected nor envious of their counterparts in Ghana and Ivory Coast due to differences in their economic systems, which prevent them from benefiting from the current opportunities in the global market.

He said: “We are not envying our counterparts’ cocoa farmers in Ghana and Ivory Coast due to the system of their cocoa economy, which does not allow them to enjoy the present surge in cocoa prices resulting from the future cocoa contracts executed by their respective cocoa boards.

“In fact, we have been reliably informed that the prices the two respective giant cocoa origin countries are paying their cocoa farmers were the prices of cocoa as of April 2023, which was around $2,700 per ton. Let’s not forget the recent 50% increment in cocoa prices in Ivory Coast and Ghana, last week and this week respectively.”

He further urged Nigerians to manage and sustain control of cocoa production and management in the country.

He noted that in order to increase production and productivity of smallholder cocoa farmers’ farms and improve their livelihoods, there is a need to make available and increase provisions of subsidized farm inputs, credit facilities, capacity building, among others.

“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 a stable regulatory framework controlling quality, smuggling, pesticide control, extension management, research and development, traceability, FMAFS & State Cocoa Producing Governments synergy, child labor eradication, deforestation control, and National Cocoa Plan implementation.

“The National Cocoa Management Committee (NCMC) must not get involved in buying and selling cocoa beans except for cocoa bean stabilization support funding in the future when necessary, especially when cocoa prices nosedive beyond cocoa farmers’ economic capacity, as is done in other developed countries with other commodities,” he advised.

Meanwhile, he disclosed that the EUDR policy has called for greater participation of cocoa stakeholders in collaboration to achieve a national traceability system ensuring transparency in our cocoa economy business with sustainability.

According to him, Nigeria has better opportunities to surpass Ivory Coast and Ghana considering the downward slide of their cocoa production due to pests and diseases, climate change, smuggling, mining activities, land degradation, unfavorable cocoa economy governance (government involvement in buying and selling cocoa beans), and poor remuneration of their smallholder cocoa farmers, etc.

Comrade Adegoke maintained that: “With Nigeria’s young population in the cocoa industry and the favorable cocoa governance as far as the recent price benefits for 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 concluded.

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