Cocoa Farmers Lament Effect Of Dollar Scarcity | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Cocoa Farmers Lament Effect Of Dollar Scarcity

Posted: Apr 29, 2016 at 4:28 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Seyi Taiwo-Oguntuase


National president, Cocoa Association of Nigeria, Sayina Riman, has lamented that the high exchange rate of the dollar is having negative effect on cocoa farmers.

He said it should have been a plus for the sector but selling cocoa at the official exchange rate would significantly affect the farmers considering the difference between the official rate and how much the dollar is being exchanged at the parallel market.

According to him, “It does not give the advantage the producer should have over its produce, you can’t harvest cocoa at such high input and then you go and sell it at the official exchange rate when everything, even the loan you took has increased to between 24 to 25 percent, and then you want to sell at the official exchange rate when the market itself is not recognizing the official exchange rate.”

He said cocoa farmers generate foreign exchange for Nigeria because they export over 95 percent of their cocoa.

“We are supposed to be generating revenue and foreign exchange for the country, but I am just telling you how it affects us negatively. It is the negative aspect of the planned exchange rate as established by the CBN, which we might, as an association, go to court to fight it.

“There is every tendency that if it is not resolved we will have to go to court to address it. It is only the industry that is in such a confused state. What should be the benefit of farmers is what the banks roundtrip. The banks roundtrip our resources and sell it to the black market, so we are against it. There should be one single exchange rate, which should be determined by the market policy.”

However, Riman stated that the scarcity of dollar has brought about high increase in input of agro chemical and other input for the sector, noting that those who can afford to get the exchange rate at the black market rate chose a double digit increase in agro chemical which is over a hundred per cent increase in agrochemical.

Riman added that this will have an adverse effect on production, having considered the weather that has affected the farmers negatively.