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Amid economic downturn, experts see opportunities in cocoa

By Tobi Awodipe
16 August 2023   |   3:56 am
As basic food commodities continue to rise and the country suffers from rapidly dwindling Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), stakeholders said all hope is not lost as some sectors of the industry still have massive growth, trade, and export potential to turn the economy around.

As basic food commodities continue to rise and the country suffers from rapidly dwindling Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), stakeholders said all hope is not lost as some sectors of the industry still have massive growth, trade, and export potential to turn the economy around.

Market research company, IMARC Group, in a recent report titled, ‘Nigeria Cocoa Processing Market: Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2023-2028’, provided a analysis of the industry; adding that the country’s cocoa processing market and its value chain, has been projected to exhibit a growth rate Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 6.76 per cent in the next five years.

Nigeria is a leading player in the global cocoa industry and is the fourth largest producer, covering 6.5 per cent share of global production. According to the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Cocoa beans account for almost 90 per cent of the 804 million USD of Nigerian cocoa exports. Despite all these, the country is not getting enough money from it as it has failed to explore the product’s numerous value chains extensively, exporting it in its raw form. Chocolate and chocolate variants, which are gotten from cocoa, is a multi-billion dollar industry that Nigeria is yet to tap into properly.

The report also includes the Nigeria cocoa processing market share, size, trends, and growth forecasts, competitor and regional analysis and highlights the latest advancements in the market. The report added that the country’s cocoa processing market is witnessing little growth, driven by various factors shaping the industry’s landscape.

Nigeria boasts a favorable climate and fertile lands that support the cultivation of high-quality cocoa beans and the country’s vast cocoa production capacity serves as a fundamental driver for the cocoa processing market. As the global demand for cocoa-based products continues to rise, Nigeria’s abundant cocoa supply positions it as a key player in the cocoa processing industry. In addition, with a growing population, there is a surge in demand for cocoa powder, butter, chocolates, and other cocoa-derived products within the country, and this upward trend in domestic consumption acts as a driving force for the expansion of the cocoa processing market.

Urging the government and industry stakeholders to better recognise the importance of value addition in the cocoa value chain, the report revealed that the cocoa processing industry is witnessing technological advancements and innovative practices, as companies are adopting modern processing techniques, machinery, and equipment to optimise production efficiency, improve quality, and reduce processing times.

By establishing a robust cocoa processing sector, Nigeria can tap into the export potential of cocoa-based products, catering to both regional and international markets, it noted.