The Federal Government of Nigeria has taken a cue from Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire’s Living Income Differential initiative for cocoa producers to address challenges facing the country’s cocoa sector.
In view of this, a National Cocoa Management Committee (NCMC) has been constituted to work out modalities to raise the value share for Nigerian cocoa farmers.
Key among the Committee’s tasks is to “develop a strategic plan towards the establishment of a Nigerian Cocoa Board,” according to Dr Mohammed Abubakar, Nigeria’s Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development.
Speaking at the inauguration of the committee, Dr Abubakar added, “the NCMC, as an important regulatory body in the Nigerian Cocoa sector, shall upscale their activities to all cocoa-producing states.”
The committee has also been tasked to draft a charter to be forwarded to the Nigerian National Assembly for ratification.
The cocoa Charter will enable Nigeria to satisfy the cardinal requirement for joining the Cote d’Ivoire – Ghana Cocoa Initiative in order to benefit from the Living Income Differential of $400 per tonne.
The committee was constituted after officials from Nigeria’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development paid a visit to Ghana to study the implementation of Living Income Differential (LID).
The NCMC has been tasked to develop a framework for the regulation and monitoring of the activities of the Cocoa sector to make the industry more transparent, the Nigerian Tribune reported.
He went on to further state that “the NCMC shall organize and conduct a national conference (of) for Commissioners of Agriculture from 36 states and FCT to sensitize them on the importance of LID and the efforts of the Federal Government towards ensuring that our smallholder cocoa farmers also enjoy the benefit like Ghana and Cote d‘Ivoire.”
“The National Cocoa Management Committee shall develop a Local, State and Federal Government strategic implementation plan. The NCMC shall develop a Nigerian charter for joining the Ghana/Cote d’Ivoire initiative,” the Agriculture Minister stated.
He also, “the NCMC shall establish a data bank for all multinational companies and exporters of cocoa beans from Nigerian ports.”
He however added that there is a lot of work to be done as the sector is faced with many challenges in the absence of a National Coordinating body.
Some of the challenges he said include “pest and diseases, logistics such as rural roads and infrastructure, old Cocoa plantations, ageing of our Cocoa farmers, processing, access to finance, environmental concerns such as deforestation and climate.”
Members of the committee, Dr Abubakar mentioned, were selected from all relevant stakeholders in the public and private sectors in line with global best practices.
What is Living Income Differential (LID)?
The Living Income Differential (LID) is a price mechanism initiated by Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire’s cocoa governing bodies that put a premium of $400 per tonne on the export price of cocoa aside from the amount being paid by buyers.
The objective of the LID is to tackle extreme poverty among cocoa growers by increasing their income.
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