Sunday, 11 March 2018


Industry experts have expressed fears  that  Nigeria may lose about  N1 trillion  as revenue from  Cocoa by  2020 if  nothing  concrete is   done  to   improve   growing  of  the nation’s cash  crop which  generated  US $ 338 .17 million in 2015  as  export  revenue.

A major player in  Agricultural Business, WACOT Limited, said the federal government must take proactive steps  through implementation of key policies to improve the  ranking of  Nigeria as  one  of  the  leading grower of  the  cash  crop  in  the  next  five   years.

This was part of the submissions of stakeholders at a workshop that was organised by Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) in collaboration with Abia state government for Cocoa  Farmers in Umuahia a few days ago. Speakers at the event observed that earnings from Cocoa products had gone down to US$ 242. 23  million in  2016 from $338.23m in  2015, prompting the NEPC to  hurriedly organize a capacity building   workshop for  Cocoa  farmers in Abia, Cross-River, Akwa  Ibom   and  Imo states to  enhance  production through  best  practices.

Presently, Nigeria is ranked 4th globally in Cocoa bean production  with  367,000 metric tones coming behind Cote d’ Iviore, Ghana and  Indonesia. Speaking at the event, the executive director/chief executive officer, NEPC, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, said  that  despite the  fact    that Nigeria’s   cocoa  was rated   among the best  in  the  world and was  in  fierce  completion with   Ghana  and Ivory  coast until  1984, its  position has   consistently gone   down over  the  years.

According  to  him, while  in  2015 the  production in  Cote  D’ Ivoire  and  Ghana were 1.7 Metric  tones and  800,000 metric  tones respectively that  of Nigeria   hovered  around  220,000  and 250, 000 metric  tones  per annum.

Represented by  the  director, Product  Development Department, Mr. William Ezeagu, he  said in order to  change the  present   level of  production, the Council has  set  a  target of  increased production by  25 per cent within  the  next   two  years as  envisaged in the  Zero Oil plan of  the  council.

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