Nigeria’s cocoa-industry reduced its output estimated for the 2020 main crop by 18%, because of the spread of the fungal black pod disease caused by heavy rains in the country’s main growing areas.
According to Mufutau Abolarinwa, president of the Cocoa Association of Nigeria, this year’s main crop is now suspected of dropping to 148,750 tons from the previous estimated 181,475 tons.
Nigeria is the world’s fifth-biggest cocoa producer and has two cocoa harvests. The main crop starts between October and December, and the smaller, second crop beginning from April to June.
Abolarinwa stated that rainfall in the last few weeks has been massive, leaving no chance for farmers to work on the farms. They expect a shortfall from the effect of the black pod on the potential harvest.
According to the farmer Sayina Rima, in the southeastern cocoa-growing areas around the trading town of Ikom, there is also a threat by the fungal disease.
A widespread malaria outbreak has affected many workers and caused a workforce shortage, leaving many farms neglected.