Nigerian cocoa output is likely to drop by at least 20% this season as measures aimed at curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus and drier weather increase the chances of a poor harvest, the president of the cocoa association said.
Mufutau Abolarinwa told Reuters that output for the last 2019/20 season declined to an estimate of 250,000 tonnes, lower than the International Cocoa Organization’s forecast of 260,000 tonnes.
The association previously estimated last season’s output at 305,000 tonnes.
Nigeria, the world’s fifth biggest cocoa grower, has been hurt by lockdown measures initiated to slow the spread of the outbreak as farmers have been unable to import inputs, while drier weather has hindered pod formation, Abolarinwa said.
The statistics office said in a report that the pandemic could cause agricultural yields to fall due to the limited access to inputs for crop production.