By Obafemi Oredein
Special for Dow Jones Newswires
IBADAN, Nigeria-Cocoa trees in Nigeria`s second-largest producer, Cross River state, are fruiting well and an early harvest of the 2022-23 main crop is expected in the state, Sayina Riman, former president of the Cocoa Association of Nigeria said Wednesday.
“Rain has been fantastic in this area (Cross River). It has been so consistent since March and hasn’t stopped,” he told Dow Jones Newswires.
Mr. Riman said an early main crop harvest might start from the first or second week of August due to the favorable weather.
This is a month ahead of September when the main cocoa harvest usually starts in the southwest and southeast cocoa region in Nigeria.
Cross River state is the largest cocoa producer in the southeast region and the second-largest grower in Nigeria after Ondo state in the southwest region.
Mr. Riman declined to forecast the volume of main crop production in Cross River state for the 2022-23 season adding “I will not give a production forecast yet because the weather may turn around.”
The Nigerian Meteorological Service had in its 2022 seasonal climate prediction in February said states in Nigeria’s southeastern cocoa producing region were expected to have annual rainfall of 3,000 millimeters.
According to Toba Adenowuro, a cocoa desk officer at the Ministry of Agriculture in Ondo state, cocoa trees need an average of 1,200mm (47.2 inches) of rain a season to produce well.
The three cocoa-producing states in Nigeria`s southeast region are Cross River, Abia and Akwa Ibom. They account for around 30% of Nigeria`s annual cocoa production of 280,000 metric tons, according to trade groups in the country.
Proof of the widespread tendency to detect patterns when in fact none exist.
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By Obafemi Oredein