Nigeria, West Africa Eyes Brazil’s Cocoa Industry Revival Amidst Global Shortages


In the verdant landscapes of Brazil, cocoa production is undergoing a transformation, symbolized by the sight of cocoa beans flowing from a pipe attached to a small train amidst tropical fruit trees.

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This shift towards automation marks a departure from traditional labor-intensive methods, offering hope for a revival in cocoa production.

For West Africa, the world’s largest cocoa-producing region, Brazil’s efforts come at a crucial time.

Severe shortages in cocoa beans, driven by extreme weather, disease, and structural issues, have led to soaring prices, prompting the search for alternative suppliers.

While West African farmers grapple with low pay and limited resources for investment, Brazil’s agricultural prowess and adoption of innovative techniques are attracting attention as a potential solution to the cocoa crisis.

Laerte Moraes, a managing director at Cargill Inc.’s South American food ingredients unit, noted,

“The production model in Africa tends to run out of steam over time, and that creates possibilities for other regions.

Brazil has all the conditions to be a very efficient and effective cocoa producer.

“Once a dominant global supplier, Brazil faced setbacks due to a tree-killing disease in the 1980s.

However, the country is now on a path towards revitalization, aiming to double cocoa output by 2030 through modernization efforts.

The adoption of new machinery, improved irrigation, and selective seedling cultivation has shown promising results, with some Brazilian farmers achieving significantly higher productivity levels than the national average.

As Brazil’s cocoa industry undergoes a revival, West African nations are closely monitoring developments, seeking potential collaborations and lessons to enhance their own cocoa sectors amidst the challenges they face.

“Brazil has turned into the talk of the town,” remarked Fernando De Martins, CEO of Agrícola DM4, signaling the growing interest and anticipation among West African stakeholders regarding Brazil’s cocoa industry resurgence.

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