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Farmers happy as cocoa prices hit 8,000 pounds per tonne


Nigerian farmers are in for festive season with  cocoa prices hitting  $10,000 and F8000 a tonne at  various exchanges in the United States and United Kingdom.

Cocoa prices have more than doubled this year as the crop’s production in Ivory Coast and Ghana, which together make up about 60 per cent of the world’s output, have been ravaged by disease. This is the third year in a row that the global market faces a deficit.

Major companies abroad  use pure cocoa butter to produce large volumes of chocolates.

Speaking with journalists, Osun State Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Tola Faseru, also a commodities exporter,   noted that there had been an unprecedented rise in cocoa prices.

The highest  in 45 years, international companies have been pressured to  hike prices of  chocolates.

According to him, the increase in the price of cocoa has made farmers focus more on the crop.

His words: “Particularly 2023 to 2024,there has been  a shortage,  close to 40 per cent shortage to cocoa production output.This is occasioned by the drop in Ghana and Ivory Coast production.These two countries contribute 60 percent of the global production.In the world ranking, we have  Ivory Coast, then Ghana, Indonesia and Nigeria. At the beginning of 2023, it was 2000 pounds a tonne, now it is 8000 pounds.

“Cocoa prices have risen  so much. In fact, this year, it is more than last  year. In March, it has doubled. So, you can imagine, it’s an all-time high.Cocoa is about  one of the mosttraded commodities.How do I put  it? Highly priced commodity. One of the most or the best performing commodities in 2023 and 2024 so far.’

“In  all these, it is producers in Nigeria that are really making money, compared to   farmers inv can vvvvvv these two countries.What we have in Nigeria is a free market. Farmers are free to determine their price.

“This put them in a good position.  Unlike in Ghana where the government buys from the farmer at a fixed price. An average cocoa farmer in Nigeria is dancing. He is able to do more, buy a car, enjoy a better livelihood, and take better care of his family. With these I believe there’ll be a lot of investment in  the  sector.”

According to him, the Osun State government is taking advantage of the  situation to increase cocoa production.”

In February,  cocoa prices hit an all-time high of $9,010.59 per tonne at the New York Commodities Exchange.

Over the past year, the price per tonne of cocoa has tripled, skyrocketing from $2,000 to over $6,000 in the regular markets.

Agribusiness & Youth Empowerment Coordinator, Community of Agricultural Stakeholders of Nigeria (CASON), Sotonye Anga, noted that it was the best times in the industry as cocoa prices reached unprecedented heights, with economists projecting no downward trend through the year.

Anga was delighted that the  surge in pricing, though usually short-lived, was already having a ripple effect on the industry, with chocolate makers adjusting their operations to stay afloat.

He noted that the   industry needed  higher prices to encourage farmers to invest in the business.

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