84,000 lose jobs as 16 cocoa companies go under

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Multi Trex Integrated Foods Plant, Ibadan-Lagos Expressway PHOTO: Femi Ibirogba

• 5% cocoa – 140 billion dollars accounted for Africa, despite 70% of world production
• Nigeria loses $ 100 billion for the impossibility of exporting large-scale products

More than 84,000 Nigerians have lost jobs in the cocoa pulp industry, while about 16 companies have grown over the past 10 years.

The national president of the Nigeria Cocoa Association, Mr. Sayin Riemann, excluded this for The Guardian, stating that out of more than 20 cocoa processing companies in the country, about 16 had accumulated, sending more than 84,000 Nigerians to the labor market.

“Over the past 10 years, we have lost more than 14 manufacturing companies. We believe that these companies would make a big contribution to the economy. And we believe that, on average, more than 600 or more managerial and specialized qualified services for each company were involved in these companies, and with multiplier effects, about 4,000–6,000 people will serve all the value in the industry, ”said Riemann, also vice president. World Organization of Cocoa Producers.

“According to the available data,” he added, “if we have an average of 6,000 people per company from 14 to 16 companies, this is what we lost.” This is what we believe Nigeria is losing in the economy, and this was recorded in our 10-year action plan on cocoa to show what Nigeria can do. ”

If the cocoa industry is properly coordinated, the association said that Nigeria could take in more than N1 trillion annually into the economy due to the multiplier effect.

The Cocoa Association also explained that “this is why we believe that the government should interact with the private sector. We can definitely move forward in production because we have the best and most business-friendly climate in the cocoa industry.

“We are asking the government to interact with the private sector. Cocoa is a 100 percent private sector, from agriculture to warehousing, maintenance, transportation, transportation, financing and processing. This affects every sector of the economy, and it remains open and very viable only if we can unite our hands, the public and private sectors, to move the industry forward. And what is a driver? We must start promoting consumption at the local level, as well as promoting production. ”

Currently, only about four cocoa processing companies remain inefficiently functioning, while the struggling companies are the Oluji Cocoa Company Ltd in the Ile-Oluji and Coop Cocoa Company in Akure, all in Ondo State; Ede Cocoa Plant Products, Osun State and FTN Cocoa Processors PLC.

Similarly, he called on the federal government to intervene in the crisis shock of Multi Trex Integrated Foods Plc, the country's largest cocoa processing plant, which was transferred to the Nigeria Asset Management Corporation (AMCON).

“It’s not enough for the government to close the company with the size of Multi Trex with the highest carrying capacity during the processing period in Nigeria, with a production capacity of about 65 metric tons. Each country would like to protect its best by investing resources and ensuring that such investments are not in vain.

5% cocoa in the amount of 140 billion US dollars accounted for Africa
Mr. Akin Olusuyi, managing director of Oluji Cocoa Products Ltd, explaining the problems of The Guardian, confirmed the facts from the association, saying that the global cocoa trade is estimated at $ 140 billion a year, but only about 5% to Africa, although Africa produces more 70% of global annual production.

He said: “The fact is that the accumulated wealth lies somewhere outside the scope of production. Some of us are really concerned that those who benefit more from cocoa are not farmers or regions that grow this product. The question is why is this so?

Cocoa pods

Olusui said: “The reasons are direct. Global cocoa trade is controlled outside of manufacturers. The main players sold the idea that we had better remain as suppliers of raw materials for feeding our factories, and they should be content with the remnants of the periphery and the rent that goes like this.

“While they are building branches around our cocoa and developing their economies, we are still at the same low level we have in the global value chain since 1910, when the first batch of cocoa was shipped from Nigeria” .

Nigeria has lost 100 billion dollars in 10 years
In another development, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) of the UN (UN) reported that since 2008 the country has lost more than $ 100 billion. The United States for its inability to produce, process and export extra cocoa beans, palm oil, peanuts and cotton,

“Nigeria is estimated to have lost $ 10 billion. The United States in the form of annual export opportunities from peanuts, palm oil, cocoa and cotton only due to the steady decline in the production of these goods.

“The growth of food production (crop production) did not accelerate with population growth, which led to an increase in food imports and a decrease in the level of national food self-sufficiency,” the FAO report says.

The main factors undermining production are dependence on rain farming, small-scale farming and low yields due to poor planting material, low fertilizer use and, among other things, a weak distribution system for agricultural products.

The agricultural transformation agenda (ATA) promised by the current government headed by Muhammad Bukhari will continue to set the goal of increasing cocoa productivity to double cocoa production in Nigeria from 250,000 in 2011 to 500,000 metric tons by 2015, but industry representatives claim that production has not improved.

Former executive director of the Nigeria Cocoa Research Institute (KRIN), Professor Malachi Akoroda, said the goal is not supported by sincere actions, describing the goal as far as possible from reality.

National cocoa production will increase from 230,000 tons to 714,000 tons. This will be achieved by increasing the area of ​​planted land from the current 657,143 hectares to 905,000 hectares.

The association, as part of private sector solutions to industry problems, reports that it is working to increase the number of cocoa beans per hectare from 350 kg to 789 kg.

“The average cocoa farmer, who has about 2.5 hectares, who usually produces 875 kg and receives a gross income of N525,000, will now produce 1.625 kg and will receive a more reasonable gross income of $ 975,000.

“The plan has measures aimed at supporting cocoa farmers who want to create new plantations or introduce additional businesses into their farming business for income-generating opportunities,” the cocoa association said.

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