The Federal Government in partnership with the Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria has commenced moves to attract extra $400 on the cost of every tonne of cocoa exported from Nigeria.
It was learnt that Nigeria exports about 340,000 tonnes of cocoa annually, meaning that the country is to earn an additional $136m outside the actual cost of the commodity once it perfects the process required to achieve this.
Speaking at the inauguration of the National Cocoa Management Committee in Abuja on Tuesday, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abubakar Mahmood, said officials of his ministry recently visited Ghana to study the implementation of Living Income Differential with respect to cocoa export.
He explained that Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire introduced the Living Income Differential as a premium on their cocoa and as tool to complement the prices of cocoa in the international market.
Mahmood said, “The purpose of this is to increase the share benefits received by cocoa farmers in these countries. In order to work out modalities for Nigerian cocoa farmers to start benefitting from this initiative like their counterparts in Ghana and Cote d’ Ivoire, this committee is being set up.”
He said one of the immediate tasks of the committee was to come up with an urgent draft charter for the operations of the NCMC which would enable an executive bill to be forwarded to the National Assembly for legal backing.
“This is to meet the demand of joining the Ghana/Cote d’Ivoire initiative to deliver Living Income Differential of $400/tonne, which will in turn improve the livelihood of our smallholder cocoa farmers across the country,” the minister stated.