Post by Ismail AbdulAzeez on Mar 14, 2020 20:50:35 GMT 1
Cocoa and other crops were the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy. But shortly after independence, attention, however, shifted to crude oil. Thankfully, the government is changing the narrative with its drive to boost non-oil revenue. Building capacity in cocoa grading to boost international competitiveness is crucial to the economy.
There has been low level production and export of cocoa, which is a result of many factors, including poor grading and quality related issues. If these areas and others are looked into and the needful things are done, Nigeria would take its rightful place in cocoa economy not just in Africa, but globally.
And interestingly, our cocoa is rated as some of the best in the world because of the flavour and aroma.
Ways to Improve Cocoa Competitiveness
Grading: Producers of the crop should improve grading to enable them earn premium prices at the international market.
Sensitization: Constant enlightenment should be targeted at exporters, inspection officers and farmers to enable improvement in production and quality of produce.
Inputs availability: The availability of seedlings and agro input, including sprayers and agro chemicals will make cocoa production take a turn for the better.
Capacity building: Organising workshops and integrated pest management for our cocoa farmers, stakeholders and processors.
Farmland: Increased land area for cocoa cultivation.
Quality control: Exporters must learn how to grade and dry cocoa beans and recognise quality parameters according to international standards, train their workers to apply quality-control measures and maintain proper storage and transportation conditions.
Cooperation: There is need for cooperation among producers, governments, traders, processors and manufacturers to enable the industry achieve its full potential.
Market Regulation: There is a need to regulate the commodities industry such that the government will have first-hand information to enable it take decision to promote cocoa trading.
There is a huge cocoa export market in the U.S. U.S is the world’s largest importer of cocoa beans; however, Nigerian exports represent only 3.3 per cent of it. It was also discovered that 91 percent of Nigeria’s cocoa in 2016 was exported to the European Union(EU) for further processing.
No doubt, the transformation of the cocoa industry will lead to a sustainable economic sector for the stakeholders involved, could mean higher prices for cocoa exports at the international cocoa market.