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Cocoa Importation, Storage and Export From Nigeria; The Opportunities.

Cocoa Importation, Storage and Export From Nigeria; The Opportunities.

Cocoa Importation, Storage and Export From Nigeria; The Opportunities.

Cocoa ( Theobroma cacao L. ) is a native of Amazon region of South America. The bulk of it is produced in the tropical areas of the African continent. There are over 20 species in the genus but the cocoa tree Theobroma cacao is the only one cultivated widely.

In the 18th century the Swedish botanist, Carolus Linnaeus, renamed the cocoa tree giving it the Greek name Theobroma Cacao, now its official botanical name, which literally means ‘food of the Gods’.

Cocoa trees resemble English apple trees. They grow best under the canopy of tropical rainforests, seldom reaching more than 7.5 metres (25 feet) high. To flourish they need to be shaded from direct sun and wind, particularly in the early growth stages. Young trees are interspersed with new permanent or temporary shade trees such as coconut, plantains and bananas, following the clear-felling of the forest. In large Asian plantations, cocoa trees and coconut trees are planted together and both crops are harvested commercially.

Alternatively, forest trees are thinned out and the cocoa trees are planted between established trees.

Cocoa trees begin to bear fruit when they are three to four years old. They produce pink and white flowers throughout the year, growing in abundance after before the rain starts. However the pods grow straight out of the trunk and the main branches, which is most unusual. Only a small proportion of the flowers develop into fruit over a period of about five months. The trees are carefully pruned so that pods can be more easily harvested.

Each tree yields 20-30 pods per year. It takes the whole year’s crop from one tree to make 450gms of Chocolate.

The cocoa tree has broad, dark leaves about 25cm long, and pale-coloured flowers from which bean pods grow.The cocoa tree bears two harvests of cocoa pods per year. Around 20cm in length and 500gms in weight, the pods ripen to a rich, golden-orange colour.

Within each pod there are 20-40 purple, 2cm long cocoa beans covered in a sweet white pulp.

There are three broad types of cocoa – Forastero and Crillo, as well as Trinitario, a hybrid of the two. Within these types there are several varieties.

Forastero: Producing the greater part of all cocoa grown, Forastero is hardy and vigorous, producing beans with the strongest flavour. The Forastero variety most widely grown in West Africa and Brazil is Amelondaro. It has a smooth yellow pod and pale purple beans.

Crillo: With its mild or weak chocolate flavour, Crillo is grown in Indonesia, Central and South America. Crillo trees are not as hardy and produce softer red pods, containing 20-30 white, ivory or very pale purple beans.

Trinitario: Plants are not found in the wild as they are cultivated hybrids of the other two types. Trinitario cocoa trees are grown mainly in the Caribbean, but also in Cameroon and Papua New Guinea. The mostly hard pods contain 30 or more beans of variable colour, though white beans are rare.

South West Nigeria is regarded as the cocoa belt of the country, accounting for 70 per cent of Nigeria’s annual production of 242,000 metric tonnes in 2008.

It is produced in fourteen {14} states of the federation namely Ondo, Cross River, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Ogun, Edo, Kogi, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Abia, Kwara, Ebonyi and Rivers state.

There are about 17 cocoa processing companies in Nigeria. Of the 17, only nine are functional and out of the nine, only two are owned by foreigners. The irony however is that up to 90% of the high-level exporters of raw Cocoa from Nigeria, are foreigners.

Government gives Export Expansion Grant of up to 30 per cent to processors of cocoa beans on their export turnover. But the truth is that the exporter of raw cocoa gets 10 per cent on turnover as an incentive under the same Export Expansion Grant; and he is able to do three transactions for every one transaction done by the processor of the cocoa beans. In the long run, both the processor and the exporter of raw cocoa beans are getting the same 30 per cent from government.

Steady growth over the last hundred years has transformed the chocolate confectionary market into an $80bn (£63bn) a year global industry. But now, with demand forecast to outstrip supply, a crisis is looming for the industry.

Around 3.5m tonnes of cocoa are produced each year. But rising incomes in emerging markets like India and China, combined with anticipated economic recovery in the rich north, have led to industry forecasts of a 30% growth in demand to more than 4.5m tonnes by 2020. This should be good news for farmers and businesses alike. But complacency and disregard for the livelihoods of more than 5 million small-scale family farmers who grow 90% of the world’s cocoa mean that the industry may simply be unable to provide sufficient supply to meet the demand. Development programmes are useless if they don’t consider producers’ needs.

Cocoa prices are volatile and influenced by many factors – from extreme weather, pests and disease to speculation and political instability in producing countries. In 2000, oversupply of beans saw prices slump to a 27-year low of around $714 (£565) a tonne. Then prices rocketed to a 32-year high of $3,775 (£2,992) a tonne in 2011 amid fears of disruption to cocoa supplies following the failed coup in Ivory Coast, the world’s largest cocoa producer.

About 70 percent of the world’s cocoa is grown and harvested in Africa. Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon are Africa’s largest producers but there is still unexploited potential in other West and Central African countries that are also well suited for cocoa production. There is a huge market for both raw and processed cocoa and its derivatives locally and internationally. The global market for chocolate and cocoa beverages, of which cocoa is the major ingredient, is worth over $200 billion (and growing) every year.

Trinity Edge Trading Company seeks to partner with foreign and local investors who wants to import raw cocoa seed from Nigeria and are looking for locals that can help with hiring a warehouse, sourcing, storage and export of the commodity.

We would provide the needed support (feasibility report, license and market) and while the investor provides the finance.
Profit would be shared between Trinity Edge Trading Company and the investor.

Contact us with any of the details provided below to arrange a meeting

Anaekwe Everistus Nnamdi
61-65 Egbe- Isolo Road,
Iyana Ejigbo Shopping Arcade,
Block C, Suite 39,
Iyana Ejigbo Bus Stop,
Ejigbo, Lagos.
(+234) 8033782777 or (+234) -1- 29 52 413