NIGERIA – Cocoa farmers under the aegis of Cocoa Association of Nigeria have asked the government to reintroduce the CAN stamp on all cocoa exports.

This, according to them, will ensure that all cocoa beans originating from the country are tracked and properly certified as Nigerian exports and not any other African countries.

While suggesting ways through which Nigeria can become Africa’s largest cocoa producer and exporter in Lagos on Friday, the President, CAN, Mr. Sayina Riman, said that most cocoa exporters sold Nigerian cocoa beans through other countries’ ports in order to have unfettered access to their export proceeds.

Riman said a review of the forex policy on the repatriation of export proceeds would discourage this practice.

He added that stakeholders who understood the cocoa production cycle should be allowed to participate in improving farm output.

In a review of the cocoa production ranking by the International Cocoa Organisation, Nigeria dropped to the seventh position from fourth as one of the top cocoa producers globally.

According to the ICCO statistics, in the 2013/2014 season, Nigeria occupied the fourth position based on its estimated production output of 230,000 metric tonnes after Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Indonesia.

Riman, who said that the 2015/2016 season yielded about 275,000 metric tonnes for the country, expressed optimism that the new planting season would yield between 280,000 metric tonnes and 300,000 metric tonnes provided the production factors were favorable.

This shows that cocoa production in the country rose by 17 per cent from 235,000 metric tonnes in the 2014/2015 planting season to 275,000 metric tonnes in the 2015/2016 season.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has pledged to ensure that the country becomes Africa’s largest cocoa producer and exporter.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, during the inauguration of the Cocoa Re-Launch Committee, pledged that the country would soon take over from Cote D’Ivoire as the largest cocoa producer in the world.

According to him, with the inauguration of the Dr. Olayiwola Oluwole-led committee, Nigeria will leave its current seventh position among the world cocoa producing countries’ ranking.

January 21, 2017;