Nigerian cocoa farmers and stakeholders involved in the export of the commodity are in a worrisome state following the recent price slump in the international market.
Commenting on the plights of the producers and exporters of the basic ingredient used in the production of chocolate and other related luxury consumables, Victor Iyama, national president, Federation of Agricultural Commodity Association (FACAN), noted that cocoa futures in the international markets including;London, New York and Amsterdam weekly, show prices per tonne ranging from $2250 to settle at $2,357.50 while exporters hardly get $2000 per tonne for the same quantity which previously sold above $2,400.
With the situation in the market, Iyama stressed that cocoa farmers have a tough task ahead to earn higher prices for their beans, adding that cocoa farming has become an incredibly unpredictable business, and farmers bear the risk of losses caused by climate change and extreme weather patterns while smallholder cocoa farmers also have virtually no control over global market prices, placing them at the mercy of price volatility.
The FACAN president noted that the fall in global cocoa prices has adversely affected Nigerian farmers who have been forced to continually dry and conserve their produce while waiting for a rebound in prices.
He however urged cocoa producers and stakeholders across the value chain to map out strategic ways to encourage more local processing to mitigate the challenges in the industry.