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Nigeria’s Cocoa Production To Hit 500,000 Tonnes By 2024

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FMARD ICO
L-R: The executive director, International Cocoa Organisation, Mr. Arrion Michel and the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar when the former paid a courtesy call on the minister in his office in Abuja.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, has reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to increase cocoa production in Nigeria from the present 340,000 tonnes to 500,000 tonnes by 2024.  

The minister made this known when he received the executive director of the International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO), Mr. Arrion Michel who paid him a courtesy call in his office in Abuja, adding that Nigeria currently ranks No. 4 among the world’s cocoa-producing countries.  

Abubakar assured that Nigeria can achieve an increase in cocoa production based on the present drive of the Federal Government and relevant stakeholders to utilise improved varieties. 

He, however, pointed out that traceability and transparency, irrigation and improvement of the cocoa sector through research, input delivery, production, value addition, processing and export were of uttermost importance. 

“Nigeria has made a recent, remarkable move to join the Living Income Differential (LID) initiatives established by Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana in 2019 and aimed at guaranteeing the livelihood of smallholder farmers through LID of $400/tonne of cocoa beans sold. Both countries are benefitting while Nigerian cocoa farmers are at a disadvantage, due to unregulated and liberalised cocoa industry in the country,” he said. 

According to him, the interactive meeting between the Nigerian delegation and Ghana’s cocoa board has yielded a positive result in the recent approval for the establishment of the National Cocoa Management Committee (NCMC). 

The committee, he said, will consist of all relevant stakeholders in the Nigerian cocoa industry and develop a framework for the regulation and monitoring of all activities in the cocoa sector to achieve transparency, traceability and sustainability.  

The minister further stated that the NCMC will be powered by legislation through the National Assembly to give the process a legal backing, even as he pledged that the ministry would implement the LID system in Nigeria as the country strives to take cocoa production to new heights.  

Earlier, Michel thanked the minister for his hospitality and informed him that Africa produces about 80 per cent of cocoa but the price is determined in Europe and noted there is a need to address the issues of market forces. 

A statement by the ministry’s director of information signed by Mohammed Gana, said Michel also pointed out that “Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Ecuador are the major producers of cocoa while Nigeria is the fourth producer of the product. The product is a key to smallholder farmers in many countries”. 

In his remarks, the director, Federal Department of Agriculture, Engr. Abdullahi Abubakar, represented by a deputy director in the ministry, Mr. Bendard Ukattah commended the minister for his commitment and effort towards ensuring that the country’s cocoa value chain strives. Also, he appreciated the executive director, his team and the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment for their efforts.

Conclusively, he pledged the ministry’s cooperation to move the cocoa sub-sector forward.

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