Cocoa productivity declines in Nigeria

Cocoa productivity declines in Nigeria
Photo by Etty Fidele- Ask Nigeria

The Cocoa Industry in Nigeria is confronted with many challenges.

Cocoa is Nigeria’s main cash crop and leading agricultural export; its production is essential to the growth of the Nigerian economy. Its productivity has earned the position of the world’s fourth largest producer of cocoa and third largest producer of cocoa in West Africa. The largest cocoa producing state in Nigeria is Ondo State. The state produces about 25 percent of total national production. Cocoa beans in Nigeria are used for varieties of things, such as, chocolate, cocoa butter (for cosmetic), cocoa powder (for beverage), and the likes. The cocoa industry is overseen by the Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN). This body oversees the smallholder Cocoa Farmers in all Cocoa communities, regions and states in Nigeria.

The president of Cocoa Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (CFAN), Mr. Adeola Adegoke, revealed that there are many challenges confronting the growth of the Cocoa industry in Nigeria. These challenges, according to him, sprang up after the abolition of the cocoa board in 1986. After the abolition, the growth and production of cocoa, including the productivity of cocoa farmers began to wane. Since the abolition of the cocoa board in 1986, there has been no coordinating structure and this has affected the sector negatively. It gives room for farmers, buyers, exporters and every other stakeholder to do as they please; even the government and policymakers.

New varieties of seedlings are not readily available to farmers.

In the 1950s/1960s, the production of Cocoa was usually about 590,000 metric tons and this made Nigeria to be regarded as the second largest cocoa producer in West Africa. During the regime of Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, cocoa farmers never suffered patronage. Then, the achievements and contributions of cocoa to the South West economy was about 70 percent. It was also within this period that free education and the Cocoa House was achieved, with cocoa having taken the larger chunk of the GDP. During that period, productivity per hectare was very good and profitable.

A major factor in productivity per hectare is the issue of improved variety, although there are many old varieties that have lasted for about 50-100 years. The problem with this factor is that some farmers still depend on the recycling of old varieties for seedling production, which is also behind the decline of productivity. Research institutes are not adequately funded to produce the new varieties of seedlings. As a result, the seedlings are not readily available to farmers. Also, the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Program’s (ABP) intervention in the cocoa production in 2019 was nearly zero input. The ABP was made available for 1,221 of about 200,000 farmers across nine cocoa-producing states in Nigeria. Without these subsidy, farmers cannot succeed in agriculture.

Lack of adequate funding affects productivity.

Funding is also quite a challenge in the cocoa industry. There is no obvious funding system for the sector. This lack of funds affects smallholder farmers mostly, because it is difficult for them to access funding anywhere. Without adequate funding, they are unable to take care of the cost of production which determines the yearly output. As a result of this inadequacy, so many cocoa farmers, young and old, have been forced out of the industry.

Asides funding, Cocoa farmers used to have a cocoa development unit which coordinated them and also rendered extension services. The extension units have declined exhaustively; water, electricity and other major infrastructure in cocoa communities are wrecked. The adverse effects of climate change, especially drought and irregular rainfall, also affect the productivity of cocoa trees. This effect becomes obvious as a result of lack of irrigation intervention. The rate of input cost versus output discourages farmers because farming is not sustainable without serious interventions. Cocoa farmers advocate that the government and relevant stakeholders view the economic effects.

Solutions to the problems of the Cocoa industry.

In order to find lasting solutions to the problems of the cocoa industry, an organization like the Ghana Cocoa Board that services the production aspect of cocoa development, research and development, policy making and coordination of stakeholders, should be established. The institution should be concerned with other responsibilities that would aid the improvement of the industry asides buying and selling. Recently, the Nigerian government has shown interest towards the implementation of the Living Income Differential (LID) of $400 on every ton of cocoa beans sold for the enhancement of the lives of farmers; this also, would be put into consideration.


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Ask Nigeria
5 months ago

Cocoa productivity declines in Nigeria – The Cocoa Industry in Nigeria is confronted with many challenges.Express your point of view.

Khalifa001
Member
5 months ago

Nigeria used to be a top cocoa-producing country. Sadly, that seem to have degenerated. Solution stated seems feasible though.

Adeolastan
Member
5 months ago

Government need to be more proactive in the cocoa farming business because if the government is really sincere in resuscitate cocoa farming business it will really increase Nigeria GDP and even provides lot of job for the citizen.

DimOla
Member
5 months ago

The activities of the Fulani herders in the Nigeria is a major contributory factor to the reduction in Cocoa production in Nigeria couple with the fact that government policy is not even helpful.
Dollar is on the rise thereby affecting the price of fertilizer.

theApr
Member
5 months ago

Whoa! No doubt, Nigeria is blessed with numerous resources. However, if there are numerous challenges facing our major export crop, I feel that’s alarming enough. As the writer rightly said, Nigeria used to be a top cocoa-producing country. Sadly, that seem to have degenerated. Solution stated seems feasible though.

Iyanu12345ogg
Member
5 months ago

The president of cocoa Farmers’ outlined challenges confronting the growth of cocoa within the country, without adequate funding, inability to take care of the cost of production which determines the yearly output.. Because of all these cocoa farmers are discouraged, also loosing interest in cocoa. The government should make necessary provisions for the farmer and enlighten the with reasons to continue running cocoa business

Tonerol10
Member
5 months ago

government should look into Cocoa production in the country

Ultra0711
Member
5 months ago

I still don’t understand why our Government always turn blind to something that will better us and our economy. Cocoa should be part of the first line priority in Nigeria because all the positive impact it as had and will continue to have on our economy

Abusi
Member
5 months ago

The declinement of cocoa production is going to cost the economy of Nigeria. We are one of the top countries who export cocoa in Africa. Not investing in it will not be beneficial for us, because it’s one of our cash crops.

jdpumping
Member
5 months ago

Cocoa has been a main stream of export in Nigeria through agriculture in Ondo I remember vividly how cocoa is been exported but despite all these the government really needs to provide financial backup for the farmers

SarahDiv
Member
5 months ago

Government policy is the factor that is affecting the agricultural sector of Nigeria. Nigeria was the largest producer of Cocoa in West Africa in 1980s. Today Ghana is regarded as the largest producer of Cocoa. The Oil palm that made Malaysia great the seed was gotten from Nigeria. Seriously, our Government need to look into agricultural sector and find out what is actually happening.
The focus of our government has been diverted away from agriculture to crude oil. This is the genesis of our problem in agricultural sector.

AN-Usman
Member
5 months ago

Looking at years back, cocoa has been so profitable for us and helping with our economy when it was fully sustainable. Cocoa production needs more attention, investment, research and development than its been given.

Adesanyaj72
Member
5 months ago

The research institutes do not have access to sufficient funding to enable them to produce a new variety of seedlings. As a direct consequence of this, the farmers do not have easy access to the seedlings for the planting cocoa

Bola12
Member
5 months ago

Cocoa growers once had access to a cocoa development unit that not only provided them with extension services but also coordinated their efforts. The extension units have deteriorated to an exhausting degree, and cocoa communities now lack water, power, and other crucial infrastructure components, which is very bad for it’s development

Last edited 5 months ago by Bola12
Chibuzor
Member
5 months ago

Cocoa helped our economy stand to where it is today, and it doesn’t deserve to be thrown out like this. The government should fix more budget that will ensure it flourishes once again

Godsewill Ifeanyi
Member
5 months ago

We’ve been doing this cocoa thing for years; have we really profited from it sef, they should divert energy to another thing

Tolaniiii
Member
5 months ago

Some of these farmers too are not serious, they won’t put enough efforts in ensuring the good and quality growth of their product because no one can punish them for it

Taiwoo
Member
5 months ago

Naija should set up policies and organisations that will super cede and regulate cocoa production, this will help in making it grow further

Remi1
Member
5 months ago

Most cocoa farmers don’t have the essential facilities for operating their business; things like water, fertiliser and the likes are not being provided to them

Yomii
Member
5 months ago

We’re renowned worldwide for being a powerhouse for cocoa production, so why should we now be messing that up? The government needs to step up and put more effort into the cocoa industry

Kazeem1
Member
5 months ago

These cocoa farmers need financial backing and support so that they can maximize their daily output

Nwachukwu Kingsley
Member
5 months ago

Why will Cocoa productivity be declining in this country?? Something that is part of what the country is known for and has brought money for us

Hassan Isa
Member
5 months ago

Cocoa after crude oil has been one of our major source of income, the government shouldn’t abandon this sector cos it’s really profitable

AN-Abiodun
Member
5 months ago

No doubt cocoa production has been part of our resources and also a source of income for the nation.

Also, compared to the past, there has been a significant drop in the number of people planting it.

More funding and initiatives will spike passion in farmers, and with time we will regain our space.

Haykaylyon26
Member
5 months ago

Cocoa production as been helping our economy since olden days due to the abolished of the board they why every seller and buyer are doing as they want since they don’t av anyone to control them, the board should be establish again so to rectify this everything back to normal cocoa production can also improve the country economy if is maintain in the right way, we get alot of things from cocoa so it should not be ignored necessary things should be done