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April 19, 2024

NBBC 2023: Nigeria’s Cocoa Value Chain Yet to be Understood, Appreciated 

The Oloni of Eti-Oni, Osun State, Oba Dokun Thompson Gureje IV, has revealed that Nigeria has a lot of potential to increase the value of cocoa, as the produce is yet to be well understood, appreciated and consumed in Africa.

He made the disclosure in a statement delivered at the Nigerian British Chamber of Commerce (NBBC) 2023 Trade Mission to the UK, held at the Hilton London Kensington Hotel, stating that the value of most of the products is in its consumption even at the farm gate and not just in export as raw materials.

He said “We all know Nigeria is the biggest Market in the continent and opportunities abound with the Agriculture sector providing perhaps the largest and untapped potentials in the country due to a number of reasons and none of those reasons have anything to do with lack of opportunities, profitability or sustainability.

“The Nigerian market is a dynamic one that requires innovation and clear understanding of the people,” he said. Oba Thompson revealed that the agric sector offers incredible opportunities in production, processing and manufacturing, with a land mass of 923,768sq.k and 38.43 per cent reported as arable land in 2020.

“We also have good weather and excellent climate conditions for increased production output and the manpower to make it possible considering that in 2020, the loo œ median age of the Nigerian population was put at 16.9 years.

“For instance, there are certain parts of the Northern region of the country, where cocoa grows, the farmers don’t have people to buy their cocoa hence lose interest. That alone is an opportunity. I was once approached by a Chinese company that requires callsting cocoa and I saw that as a chance to point them in the direction of the Northern farmers.

“This is not an isolated case but there are several of such stories. Meanwhile, the Global Cocoa Industry is worth $200b yearly, while West Africa, which produces 75 per cent of the world’s cocoa supply, makes less than $10b from it.”

“There is a lot of potentials to increase that value because cocoa as a product like coffee, though produced in Africa, is yet to be well understood, appreciated and consumed in Africa and the value of most of these products is in its consumption even at the farm gate and not just in export as raw materials.”

While going down the memory lane, the monarch, said: “For instance, growing up, I remember clearly that the shelves of supermarkets had mainly products or brands from everywhere in Europe but today the shelves are slowly and surely being filled with more products made in Nigeria or Nigerian owned brands and this is what Unilever pulled out of, they could no longer dominate or even compete and this is where the sustainable opportunities are for those who are willing to change the status quo through collaboration and partnership especially with the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which will create the world’s largest singular market of over 1.4 billion people across 55 countries with Nigeria projected to have 25 per cent of that population in the next 20 years.

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