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Cocoa now gold in Taraba as buyers overwhelm farmers

Grade 1 cocoa bean is now sold at the rate of N950,000 per 100 kilogramme (kg) bag in Taraba State. The current price of the…

Grade 1 cocoa bean is now sold at the rate of N950,000 per 100 kilogramme (kg) bag in Taraba State.

The current price of the commodity is the highest ever witnessed by cocoa farmers in the state.

Daily Trust has gathered that the high demand of the commodity at the international markets is responsible for the high price of cocoa beans being witnessed.

Yusuf Sanda, a cocoa farmer from Kurmi LGA of the state said farmers that have old stock of the product are making money as middlemen have besieged the area buying off the commodity.

According to him, Kurmi is one of the areas in Taraba with the highest number of cocoa farmers and is now a centre of attraction to middlemen, mostly from the Southeast and Southwestern parts of the country.

He said the middlemen have dominated the buying of cocoa in the area over the years.

Another farmer, Adamu Musa, told Daily Trust in an interview that grade 1 cocoa beans now cost between N950,000 and N1m per bag and the area is witnessing an increasing flow of middlemen on a daily basis.

He said it was old stock which was harvested last year that is being sold, adding that harvesting of cocoa will begin in the next six months.

According to him, in the past years, the price of cocoa was between N200,000 and N400,000  per bag, but a few weeks ago the price jumped to an all-time high of N950,000 per bag.

Another farmer, James Mainasara, said with the current price of the commodity, many farmers are geared towards engaging in cocoa production in the area.

“Even at this price, it is not clear what the actual price of the commodity is in Lagos and at the international market because none of the indigenes is involved in trading of the commodity; the entire buying network is controlled by outsiders,” he said.

Findings revealed that most middlemen came to the area with bags labelled with names of different states that produce cocoa and were filled with cocoa beans and taken to the international market as product of other states.

Sources in the area claimed that cocoa produced in Taraba State is highest in grade and is a choice commodity in the international market and that is where middlemen from outside the state label Taraba cocoa as a product of their states.

However, Robert Adamu, another farmer, said the area needed a cocoa grading centre where the product would be graded and bagged with Taraba State’s own label.

He also called for the setting up of cocoa farmers’ cooperative societies in the local governments of the state which would enable farmers to be involved in the pricing and sale of the commodity to get good value for their produce.

 

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