Sometimes in Africa we fail to realize we are seating on a gold mine. Do you think the white men that come into Nigeria are visiting for sight-seeing? Cocoa exported from Nigeria rose from about 250,000 tonnes exported in 2016 to more than 300,000 tonnes in 2017 according to vanguard news reports.
We are chasing jobs in Lagos and searching for ways to get out of the country, but cocoa seeds that can fetch us millions in foreign exchange are lying all over our village farms, some farmers in the rural areas don’t even know how valuable their cocoa pods are to the international community.
Well if you are in deep thought about a business idea to start- Then meet cocoa
Cacao is the tree, pod, and bean/seed while the word “cocoa” is reserved for the bean after it has been fermented, dried, and roasted. Many different sorts of products can be derived from cocoa.
So what’s the big deal about cacoa fruit and its seed Cocoa
Hot chocolate beverages, Alcoholic drinks / chocolate like Mars, Jam and Marmalade/ Soap, body wash, body creams/ Cocoa powders used for baking and deserts .
Even the back of the cacao after the seeds (cocoa) have been taken is still useful for animal seeds and soil fertilizers
So who wants cocao ( the whole fruit) or cocoa ( the seed)
Major countries that import cocoa includes United States, UK, France, Netherlands, Canada, Italy, Spain, and Poland. They need cocoa to make all these products! But guess what? They don’t have it because it only grows in temperate and tropical regions – Yes West Africa! Our hot and humid weather is perfect for cocoa
Worldwide, the cocoa industry is a $5.1 billion market, with West Africa growing more than half of the 3 million tons sold annually,
According to the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) our next door neighbours Ivory Coast and Ghana are the two largest producers of cocoa in the world. Nigeria is seventh place (and imagine taking seventh place when we have not given the industry the attention it deserves)
Ivory Coast survives on the foreign exchange it makes from cocoa! countries like Asia, South and Northern Africa also grow cocoa, but west Africa is the best source of cocoa
Ok so now you are convinced that you should explore the opportunities that could be available in cocoa what next?
Well you have to get some information…
The major producing States in Nigeria based on temperature and topology are; Edo, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ogun, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Ekiti, and Delta.
Cocoa bean grows on pods on the tree species called Theobroma Cacao. When the seed is planted, Cocoa can take about 5 years to mature and a single tree can remain productive for more than 25 years.
its also possible to buy the seeds from farmers for processing and export
International companies order in tons from 5 Tonns to 20 Tonns and more. A buyer would probably order in smaller quantities to see if your products can pass the test
You will have to source for reliable farmers that harvest with good quality to ensure you meet the required specification for the exporting of the product.
Packaging and the correct specification for exporting, mode of transportation across Nigeria and shipping details are important information that a prospect needs to gather
Why this is the right time to jump into the cocoa business
There has been an increase in the demand for cocoa in the international market
Nigeria is also enjoying a bit of governmental support, — The federal government is training farmers across the country on processing techniques for high-yielding quality cocoa beans to enable them export their produce to European countries and other parts of the world.
Speaking at the event in Akure, the state capital, the acting Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr Abdullahi Sidi-Aliyu said the program was part of efforts to develop the non-oil sector of the economy.
You can thank me later. #Hotbusiness