There is excitement among cocoa producers in the country as output is projected to increase by 28 percent for the main harvest that starts this month. Output for the October to January harvest will rise to 320,000 metric tons from 250,000 tons a year earlier, Robo Adhuze, a spokesman for the Cocoa Association of Nigeria, said in Akure. Nigeria also has a smaller crop that runs from March to June that usually adds another 35,000 tons, Adhuze said, according to Bloomberg.
Nigeria is helping farmers to grow more beans and last year distributed seeds that are resistant to diseases such as Black pod to boost crop prospects by 2015. Demand will probably outpace supply for a second year in the 12 months starting next month as production falls in West Africa, the main growing region, and consumption increases.
“Black pod disease was witnessed all over, but the impact on production was minimal owing to pest control,” Adhuze said.
Ivory Coast is the biggest grower, followed by Ghana and Indonesia, according to the London-based International Cocoa Organisation. Cocoa prices in London climbed 17 percent this year.