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Coronavirus

COVID-19: Over 5,000 tonnes of cocoa beans are stuck in Nigeria

The cocoa mid-crop output is expected to be weak as measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus hindered farmers and exporters, creating a backlog of unshipped beans.

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Nigeria’s cocoa exports to fall by $100m as prices rise in futures market.

The Cocoa Association of Nigeria has said that between 5,000 and 6,000 tonnes of cocoa beans are stuck at the Lagos port and warehouses across the country, as the lockdown has disrupted transport and port activities.

President of the group, Mufutau Abolarinwa, told Reuters that some of April’s orders were still being exported after the lockdowns disrupted transport and port activities.

“Around 5,000 to 6,000 tonnes of beans were stuck at Lagos port and warehouses in the country. The cocoa mid-crop output is expected to be weak as measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus hindered farmers and exporters, creating a backlog of unshipped beans,” he said.

READ MORE: Latest: Top 10 agricultural exports from Nigeria

This confirmed a Nairametrics’ report published last month, which stated that Nigeria would lose over $100 million from Cocoa exports due to falling demand in Europe, the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the report, the demand for Nigerian cocoa is at risk of recording a further decline. Europe is the largest market for the country’s cocoa exports. For instance, over 81% of Nigerian cocoa was exported to Europe in 2018, with 65% going to the Netherlands and Germany alone.

This was disclosed by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council in its annual report titled, “Impact assessment of and Policy Responses to the Coronavirus Pandemic on Agricultural Exports: Early evidence from Nigeria.”

READ ALSO: Nigeria is missing out on the latest European scramble for Cocoa

It stated, “Over the last decade, cocoa has been the top-performing non-oil export product in Nigeria. Commodity markets have taken a major hit, and this does not apply solely to crude oil.

“The price of Nigerian cocoa beans stood at $2880.63/tonne on 03 February 2020 (source: ITC market price information). It has now fallen to $2440.94/tonne as of 30 March 2020 (source: ITC market price information). This is a fall of $439.69 per tonne.”

According to Abolarinwa, though the government has eased month-long lockdowns in commercial hub Lagos state, neighbouring cocoa producing state Ogun, and the capital Abuja, interstate movement has been banned, creating a headache for cocoa delivery.

“Ships are being quarantined at the port, creating extra storage costs. Trading houses are anxious to receive their shipments and delays could affect demand for further beans from farmers, especially as the mid-crop harvest is about to start. We are hoping for an improvement,” Abolarinwa told Reuters.

READ MORE: Single digit interest loans for cocoa farmers; how feasible is this?

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Also, he explained that the nation’s mid-crop – harvested between May and September – comes in at between 50,000 and 60,000 tonnes when weather conditions are good and chemicals readily available to spray diseased trees.

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Farmers expect the late rains to affect bean weight for the mid-crop, which could be around 270-280 grammes, compared with an average weight of around 300 grammes.

“We are supposed to be spraying now to avoid black pod disease once the rains start. But because of coronavirus, labour is scarce, and we don’t know whether we would get chemicals or not,” a cocoa farmer, Oko Aja, who owns a 42-hectare cocoa farm in Nigeria’s second-biggest producing region of Cross Rivers state said.

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Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper.The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference.The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: Nigeria’s COVAX supplies on its way soon – Okonjo-Iweala

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has stated that Nigeria’s COVAX vaccine supplies are on the way.

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The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation and former Nigerian Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has revealed that Nigeria’s COVAX vaccine supplies will soon be on the way while stating that the WTO must be part of the process for transparent vaccines delivery.

The WTO boss disclosed this in a social media statement on Wednesday evening, where she expressed joy that Ghana had received 600,000 COVAX vaccines.

She said, “Very happy to see first delivery of #COVAX supported vaccines to Ghana… Excited to see more countries following. Nigeria’s supplies should be on its way soon.

“No trade restrictions or bureaucracy should get in the way. The WTO must be part of the solution.”

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported that Ghana had received the first shipment of Covid-19 vaccines from COVAX, a global scheme to procure and distribute inoculations for free, as the world races to contain the pandemic.
  • “The 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine licensed by the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India, are part of an initial tranche of deliveries headed to several low and middle-income countries,” the WHO said.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 24th of February 2021, 655 new confirmed cases and 11 deaths were recorded in Nigeria

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Covid 19 update symptops

The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 153,842 confirmed cases.

On the 24th of February 2021, 655 new confirmed cases and 11 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.

To date, 153,842 cases have been confirmed, 130,818 cases have been discharged and 1,885 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 1.49 million tests have been carried out as of February 24th, 2021 compared to 1.44 million tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 24th February 2021,

  • Total Number of Cases – 153,842
  • Total Number Discharged – 130,818
  • Total Deaths – 1,885
  • Total Tests Carried out – 1,489,103

According to the NCDC, the 655 new cases are reported from 21 states- Lagos (240), Ogun (88), Rivers (56), FCT (51), Kaduna (43), Kano (25), Plateau (21), Taraba (19), Edo (17), Abia (15), Delta (13), Nasarawa (11), Akwa Ibom (10), Kwara (10), Oyo (10), Kebbi (9), Borno (5), Bayelsa (4), Gombe (4), Ekiti (2), and Osun (2).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 55,122, followed by Abuja (19,115), Plateau (8,854), Kaduna (8,422),  Oyo (6,708), Rivers (6,398), Edo (4,491), Ogun (4,277), Kano (3,716), Ondo (2,944), Kwara (2,875), Delta (2,539), Osun (2,326), Nasarawa (2,208), Gombe (2,031), Katsina (2,029), Enugu (1,998), Ebonyi (1,839), Anambra (1,615), and Abia (1,487).

Imo State has recorded 1,440 cases, Akwa Ibom (1,439), Borno (1,247), Bauchi (1,221), Benue (1,188), Niger (912), Ekiti (797), Sokoto (768), Bayelsa (767), Adamawa (762), Taraba (712), Jigawa (496), Kebbi (358), Yobe (268), Cross River (267), Zamfara (219), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

The movement restriction, which was extended by another two weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.

On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State announced the closed down of the Eti-Osa Isolation Centre, with effect from Friday, 31st July 2020. He also mentioned that the Agidingbi Isolation Centre would also be closed and the patients relocated to a large capacity centre.

Due to the increased number of covid-19 cases in Nigeria, the Nigerian government ordered the reopening of Isolation and treatment centres in the country on Thursday, 10th December 2020.

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On 26th January 2021, the Federal Government announced the extension of the guidelines of phase 3 of the eased lockdown by one month following the rising cases of the coronavirus disease in the country and the expiration of phase 3 of the eased lockdown.

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READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

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