As part of efforts to bring some relief to cocoa farmers in Nigeria and help them achieve a living income, the world’s fourth leading producer of cocoa has begun processes to join the Ghana-Côte d’Ivoire Initiative.
The Ghana-Côte d’Ivoire Initiative was promulgated by the two leading producers of cocoa in the world, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire to improve the livelihood of cocoa farmers.
As part of the move, the two countries pushed for a US$400 a tonne Living Income Differential (LID) on cocoa sales for the 2020/21 crop season which will directly go to farmers.
This move comes after reports that Nigerian cocoa farmers were losing revenue annually due to the absence of the living-income differential for cocoa producers in the country.
It also makes Nigeria the first to be added to the scheme three years after the Ghana-Côte d’Ivoire Initiative was started.
Speaking during a stakeholder meeting with the management of the Ghana Cocoa Board, Director of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and rural development in Nigeria, Ing. Abdullahi Abubakar, noted that his outfit was poised to put in place measures to increase the production of cocoa in Nigeria from the current 340,000 tonnes to the 500,000 tonnes in 2024.
“It is noteworthy that the unregulated and liberalised cocoa industry in Nigeria is depriving smallholder cocoa farmers of yearly revenues as they are unable to collect the living income differential of $400 per ton being paid to farmers in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire in the interest of improving the livelihood of our smallholder cocoa farmers, apart from the cocoa floor prices that are paid by world cocoa farmers.
This visit is aimed at improving our cocoa production from the present 340,000 tonnes to the 500,000 tonnes in 2024 and this can be achieved based on the present drive of the Federal government and relevant stakeholders drive towards utilisation of improved varieties,” he said.
Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aiddo also charged all members to comply with all principles that are enshrined in the Living Income Differential charter and ensure their members benefit from the initiative.
Living Income Differential
The Living Income Differential (LID) was introduced in 2019 by the governments of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, to apply a premium of $400/ tonne on the export price of cocoa from the 2020/21 crop.
It is an initiative pushed by Ghana and La Cote d’Ivoire to combat the widespread farmer poverty in the two West African countries, which together produce more than 60% of the world’s cocoa.
This additional revenue was intended to increase the incomes of farming families to help them achieve a living income.