Lagos, Nigeria - With cocoa output set to increase by 10% in Nigeria this year, the country is expected to earn 104 billion naira (US$634 million) from the export of the commodity, the local media reported Wednesday.
The private Vanguard newspaper quoted the spokesman of the Cocoa Association of Nigeria, Robo Adhuze, as saying the expected income was predicated on a rise in the price of the commodity last year, which resulted in the planting of more disease-resistant beans in the country this season.
Nigeria, the world's fourth largest cocoa producing nation and the third largest in Africa, will harvest 225,000 tons of cocoa this season.
“Output for 2013-14 will probably rise by 10 per cent as higher prices enable more farmers to buy agrochemicals to protect their crops,” Adhuze said.
He said the association was still collecting data for the year, in line with the outlook.
Cocoa rallied 21% in New York last year partly on speculation that dry weather would damage crops in West Africa, where the commodity is widely grown.
Adhuze said the farm-gate prices for cocoa beans increased 40% to 420,000 naira or US$$2,592 per metric ton as of 23 Jan, from 300,000 naira (US$1,828) a year ago.
Nigeria is distributing high-yielding, disease-resistant beans that mature in about 18 months to farmers to replace the traditional crop with four to five years maturity.