Nigeria’s exports of cocoa beans, whole or broken, raw or roasted, alone increased from $2.058 million in 2018 to $9.307 million in 2020, according to the International Trade Centre (ITC) trade map.
Most stakeholders cite the country’s cocoa annual output at around 250,000 tonnes. Still, Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN) President Mufutau Abolarinwa says the figure may move up to 320,000 tonnes following expected rains that have helped boost production.
Prof Abel Ogunwale, a consultant to the World Bank, attributed the improvement to ongoing efforts in the Nigerian cocoa industry to stimulate production.
In the past year alone, the Cocoa Research Institute (CRIN) distributed ten million cocoa seeds. CRIN will distribute five million seedlings to farmers this year as part of its programme.
Because of Coronavirus outbreaks in Southeast Asia, several factories that produce jute bags, which are used for packaging cocoa beans, are reducing production. As a result, a shortage of these bags is occurring. It is important to international buyers that jute bags without hydrocarbons be used to maintain the quality of the beans.
Unfortunately, Nigeria doesn’t produce any of these locally, so it imports them from Bangladesh and India, which have been badly affected by the outbreak of the disease.
Ogunwale also suggests that the country follows Ghana to attempt to increase the amount of cocoa processed locally on the belief that it will improve profits.
Nonetheless, he noted that improving cocoa varieties and using recommended chemicals have led to modest yield increases in these crops in recent years.