Cocoa is a major money-maker for farmers as it is Nigeria’s biggest export. Here at Notore, we understand the inherent value cocoa holds for our farmers, so we go the extra mile to ensure they have the extensive support required to tap this market and change their lives.

Leveraging cocoa demand 

Cocoa is such a lucrative cash crop for our customers for one reason – it is the primary ingredient for chocolate, one of the world’s most popular types of confectionary. Data shows that the world’s chocolate market is worth a massive US$100 billion, and with the health benefits of cocoa-rich dark chocolate becoming more apparent, the sector is only set to be more valuable in future.

Commenting, our company’s CEO Onajite Okoloko said: “It appears the world has a sweet tooth, meaning that cocoa is a major cash crop for West African countries such as ours, which boast the ideal climates for cocoa production. Cocoa has long served as Nigeria’s biggest agricultural export and we are committed to making sure that our customers can reap the benefits of this lucrative crop.”

Exporting cocoa crops

It is difficult to overestimate simply how crucial cocoa is for the national economy. According to World’s Top Exports, a trade statistics portal, in 2016 the value of Nigeria’s cocoa exports was US$889.1 million. This means that last year, cocoa accounted for 2.6% of the nation’s total exports, making it our second most valuable export (coming behind minerals such as oil), and most profitable agricultural export.

We have also established a strong presence on the global cocoa stage, ranking currently as the world’s seventh largest exporter of the crop. News source Vanguard notes, however, that the government is aiming to turn our country into the planet’s largest cocoa exporter by various means. This includes implementing initiatives such as holding industry events where cocoa farmers can gain the knowledge they require to make their operations more efficient, earning more money from the crop and boosting the country’s economy.

Tackling key challenges

With support from agricultural firms such as Notore, we could become the world’s largest cocoa exporter – as there is just so much potential. Evidence indicates that cocoa can be grown in 27 of Nigeria’s 36 states, however there are a range of obstacles that our country’s farmers must overcome, to realise the potential that cocoa holds.

One major challenge, is cultivating robust cocoa harvests in a country whose face is radically being altered by climate change. International news outlet Bloomberg writes that due to unfavourable weather – most notably late and insufficient rainfall, Nigeria’s midcrop cocoa output declined by as much as 70%, reducing the supply for export. According to Ecofin Agency, a financial news outlet, due to these weather phenomena, the quality of this output also suffered, resulting in a decline in Nigerian cocoa prices which cut into the profit margins of farmers up and down the nation.

Supporting our farmers

We recognise that climate change is rapidly becoming a serious issue for the nation’s agricultural industry at large, impacting growers of crops ranging from cocoa to rice, as the erratic rainfall patterns it causes limits crop output. Estimates illustrate that the higher temperatures and irregular rainfall brought about by climate change could slash Nigeria’s crop production by about 20%.

We believe innovation is key to addressing the impact of climate change on our farming sector, so we strive to supply our customers with the cutting-edge agricultural solutions they require to maximise harvests in even the harshest of weather conditions. We supply premium improved fertilisers for example, which are engineered both to allow plants to thrive in our tropical climate and supply them with the essential nutrients needed to improve growth and raise yields for crops such as cocoa.

Bringing prosperity to Nigeria

Expanding on Notore’s efforts to aid cocoa farmers, Mr Okoloko said: “If we can realise the federal government’s target of making Nigeria the world’s biggest cocoa exporter, we can capitalise on high global demand for chocolate to supply our farmers with the revenue they need to promote prosperity. We will aid these farmers any way we can, from providing the fertilisers they require to produce robust harvests, to generating the power they need to mechanise production, so our customers can grow plentiful cocoa harvests and lift our economy to new heights.”

Onajite Okoloko on cocoa – Nigeria’s biggest agricultural export
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