FG plans to reinstate the cocoa board and increase farmers’ incomes

The National Cocoa Management Committee (NCMC), established by the Federal Government yesterday, would oversee the restoration of the Nigeria Cocoa Board and guarantee that cocoa farmers receive the Living Income Differential (LID) of $400 per tonne to raise their level of living.

Exporters of cocoa in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire have benefited from the LID that the two nations implemented as a premium for their product and as a strategy to supplement the prices of the cash crop on the global market.

According to unconfirmed claims, exporters have been shipping cocoa of a Nigerian provenance to Ghana or Cote d’Ivoire to take advantage of the $400 per ton LDI premium.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammed Abubakar, inaugurated the Cocoa Management Committee in Abuja and stated that the committee’s goal is to develop the necessary procedures so that Nigerian cocoa farmers can begin to reap the benefits of this initiative, just like their counterparts in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire ports.

“One of your immediate tasks is to come up with an urgent draft charter for the operations of NCMC,” Abubakar instructed the members of the committee. “This will enable an Executive Bill to be forwarded to the National Assembly for legal backing so as to meet the demand of joining the Ghana/Cote d’Ivoire initiative to deliver Living Income Differential (LID) of $400/ton, which will, in turn, improve the livelihood of our smallholder cocoa farmers in the country.”

Its mandate is to “develop a framework for the regulation and monitoring of the activities of the Cocoa sector to make the industry more transparent and also develop a strategic plan towards the establishment of a Nigerian Cocoa Board.” Garuba Abubakar, Director of the Federal Department of Agriculture, is the committee’s chair.

Being a key regulating organization in the Nigerian cocoa industry, they are required to expand their operations to all states that produce the crop as well as provide strategic implementation plans for the local, state, and federal governments for the National Cocoa Management Committee.

The committee will also create a database of all multinational corporations and cocoa bean exporters from Nigerian ports.

Abubakar urged NCMC to lead the cocoa industry through a practical approach as a coordinating body by offering solutions to problems affecting the value chain in order to ensure quality, traceability, transparency, and sustainability along the cocoa value chain and to also meet both local needs and export demands.

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