Nigeria has expressed interest in implementing a Living Income Differential of $400 on every tonne of cocoa beans sold to enhance farmers’ benefit, joining Ghana and Cote d’lvoire on course.
Abdullahi Abubakar, Director for Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, who led a team to the Ghana Cocoa Board, said the move would help in boosting the income of the small holder cocoa farmers. The delegation was in the country to meet the officials of Cocobod to understudy the operations of the LID as accrued to small holder cocoa farmers in Ghana.
Mr Abubakar, who read the speech on behalf of Dr Ernest Umakhihe, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said Nigeria’s unregulated and liberalised Cocoa Industry was depriving small holder farmers of yearly revenues as they were unable to collect the LID.
The LID system which was established by Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana in 2019 is set to be the Cocoa Markets Organisation of Africa and if fully implemented in the region can be compared to the organisation of petroleum exporting countries where prices of cocoa will be regulated.”
“Nigeria being lined up to join the LID system will also guarantee that the premium charged in the $100 billion chocolate industry will help in boosting the income of the small holder farmers,” he said.
However, the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, said some structures ought to be put in place for the LID to work in Nigeria. He said while Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire implemented a centralised regulatory system, trading and marketing in Nigeria were done by individual private companies without any centralised regulation. Besides, Nigeria must also join the Ghana Cote d’Ivoire Cocoa Initiative, sign the Cocoa Charter and ensure its promulgation by the national assembly to be able to benefit from the initiative.
“This makes it difficult for the LID to flow smoothly to the farmers because the LID ought to be given in total farmer. But where there is no control, it becomes difficult to ensure compliance of the flow. Nigeria coming on board would present a formidable force and a stronger say in the market in determining prices,” Mr Aidoo said.