A fire outbreak has razed down up to 30 hectares of farmlands in Abia State, according to Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria, CFAN, Bloomberg reports.
The fire outbreak amid a cocoa price surge could result in a 4 per cent drop in supply and a loss of about 11,000 tons of the chocolate ingredient pod during the mid-crop harvest season.
In total, the mid-crop harvest ranges between 280,000 tons to 300,000 tons.
The zonal Chairman of CFAN, John Kalu, said fires in Abia State were caused by farmers setting lands ablaze as a quicker and more cost-effective method of clearing land in preparation for the upcoming planting season.
He noted that strong winds from the prevailing dry harmattan weather have exacerbated the situation.
Accordingly, the incident will lead to a potential drop in output, which will exacerbate the global supply shortfall, exerting pressure on the international prices of the commodity, which have doubled over the past year, reaching a more than 40-year high.
This surge comes as growing regions in West Africa, responsible for most of the global supply, face severe impacts from extreme weather conditions.
DAILY POST recalls that according to the Q3 foreign trade report from the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria earned around N42.24 billion within the period.
In the first nine months of 2023, Nigeria raked in around N157.77 billion from cocoa exports, mainly propelled by a hike in cocoa prices over the global shortfall in supply.