Cocoa

Nigeria and Cameroon to discuss joint plan for cocoa premium price

By Anthony Myers contact

- Last updated on GMT

A Nigerian cocoa farmer inspects his crop. Pic: Rainforest Alliance
A Nigerian cocoa farmer inspects his crop. Pic: Rainforest Alliance

Related tags: Cocoa, Cameroon, Nigeria

Inspired by the decision of Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire to agree a premium price for their cocoa with buyers, Nigeria and Cameroon say they are looking at a similar initiative.

According to reports, the plan has been suggested by Nigeria, the world's fourth-largest cocoa producer, after West African neighbors Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire imposed a fixed ‘living income differential’ (LID) of $400 a ton on all cocoa contracts sold by either country for the 2020/21 season.

Peru is also reportedly looking to propose a minimum price of $3,200 per ton to its growers, following moves by the West African producers.

Informal discussions

World Cocoa Producers Organisation vice president Sayina Riman, who is also president of the Cocoa Association of Nigeria, said there have been informal discussions with Cameroon about the plan, and they were interested in following suit to protect their farmers.

Farmgate prices in Nigeria rose to around 720,000 naira ($2,353) per ton from 650,000 naira in September.

Stumbling blocks

One of the stumbling blocks to partnering with another country is that Nigeria does not have a central cocoa authority, unlike Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Cameroon.

The joint initiative by Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana has also hit a snag after it was revealed that major cocoa producers have been slow to agree to pay the LID​ imposed by the two countries.

Riman said private sector representatives in Nigeria would hold talks with both government to see if a bilateral agreement is possible.

Third party buyers

He also said Nigerian representatives had also met with Dutch and British officials about boosting cocoa exports to Europe, instead of selling beans through third party buyers in Asia.

Reuters has reported that Nigerian cocoa production for 2019/20 could dip about 3-5% to around 305,000 tons due to excessive rainfall, estimating 2018/19 output at 310,000 tons. The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) puts the 2018/19 forecast at 250,000 tons.

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