Adeola Adegoke, President of the Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN), told local representatives at a workshop organised by the Agricultural Policy Research in Africa that Nigerian farmers are losing billions of Naira annually due to the absence of a LID for cocoa producers in the country.
He told the Nigerian Tribune that “there is a need for the government to follow international best practices that support the production of cocoa in the world.”
Part of the current problem, he said, is the country receives a very low share of cocoa revenues due to the global oversupply, creating more extreme poverty for farmers.
Fixed floor price
Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire have establish a fixed ‘floor’ price of cocoa annually and applies a ‘differential’ of US$400/tonne above the floor price to increase income for cocoa producers to help them achieve a living income.
“As of today, Ivory Coast is producing about 2.5 million metric tonnes of cocoa. Ghana is producing about 800,000-1 million tonnes of cocoa. But when you look at what Nigeria is producing side-by-side with our land resources and the number of cocoa farmers that we have, it is clear that we can surpass what these two countries are producing. That is why, as smallholder farmers, we have been able to analyse the challenges responsible for our low productivity,” Adegoke said.
“In Ivory Coast, they produce nothing less than 800-1,000kg of cocoa per hectare; but in Nigeria, it is an average of 350-400kg per hectare. This is unacceptable because it makes Nigerian cocoa farmers poorer.
“In Ghana today, each farmer collects $400 on each tonne of cocoa after the falling price. Same in Ivory Coast, and that’s why we believe that Nigeria must begin to collect Living Income Differential (LID). The refusal to collect it makes us lose N60 billion annually,” he said.