The Federal government is to collaborate with the governors of cocoa-producing states and other stakeholders to enable Nigeria benefit from the projected $67.22 billion global cocoa market.
This was announced by a senior official of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), the agency responsible for developing and promoting non-oil exports.
The NEPC official said: “I am happy to inform you and the public that President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has continues to drive the diversification process.
“Also, efforts to reposition the country’s cocoa export with a view to increasing production and meeting the requisite internationally accepted standards for export into the European Union and the US are gradually yielding results.
“At present, cocoa is the leading major agricultural export of our nation.
“The commodity is one of the 13 National Strategic Export Products (NSEP) of the Federal government and very prominent in the NEPC’s Zero Oil Plan initiative.
“It was integrated into Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), 2017-2020 because the government is serious with its diversification agenda.
“But unless the state government supports the efforts of the Federal Government, the country may lose its global ranking, due to poor production practices and non-compliance to Importing countries’ requirements, among others.”
The NEPC official also added that the global cocoa market size which was $43.13 billion in 2018 is expected to be worth $67.22 billion in the next five years.
This is due to the high demand from the chocolate confectionery sector which is also expected to rise in the coming years.