AgribusinessMaking the newsNigeria

NEXIM Launches Digital Hub to Accelerate Cocoa Production in Nigeria

2 Mins read

The Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) has launched a digital hub, Cocoa Connect Africa (CCA) in its bid to boost cocoa production in the country.

The launch was made during the International Cocoa and Chocolate Forum held in Lagos State, with CCA set to revolutionize the way business is conducted within the cocoa industry.

It aims to streamline trade, foster market connections, and facilitate information exchange, thereby providing a comprehensive platform for every player in the sector. 

The forum, organized by NEXIM and the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), serves as a follow-up to the discussions initiated during the UK edition held in October 2023.

Abubakar Bello, the Managing Director of NEXIM, explained that the platform seeks to consolidate the activities of stakeholders in the cocoa industry and ecosystem under a single digital platform.

Bello emphasized the significance of digital platforms in modern trade and stressed the need for stakeholders to access market information and connect efficiently. 

“It is about somebody who has products and meeting someone who is interested in the product. It is about connection and market information.

We are putting all the stakeholders on the value chain for different commodities, but the one we launched today is for cocoa and we are also doing the same for cashew,” stated Bello.

He pointed out that the launch of the platform is not for profit making, but to boost trade facilitation and setting standards for traceability.

“The platform can be used to educate farmers, it can be used to educate regulators and to pass information on latest developments.

We must create an awareness for farmers on the latest trends, there is also a need for effective regulation in the value chain,” he said.

Beyond the introduction of digital platforms, NEXIM Bank has a proven track record of supporting cocoa exporters.

Stella Okotete, NEXIM Bank’s Executive Director of Business Development, highlighted the bank’s significant contribution of over N100 billion (US$104.3M) to cocoa exporters in the past seven years.

This has led to the creation of thousands of jobs, impacting the economy positively. In light of recent cocoa price hikes, the bank has offered refinancing options at single-digit interest rates to help exporters manage their financial burdens.

The Nigerian cocoa industry contributes a significant percentage to the global cocoa output, with an estimated worth of over US$200 billion.

However, a report by the International Trade Centre (ITC) in 2021 revealed that while Nigeria produced 208 MT of cocoa beans, the total income generated was only US$628 million.

The digital hub will play a crucial role in addressing these disparities, streamlining cocoa trade, fostering market connections, and facilitating exchange of information between industry players.

Source: Foodbusinessafrica.com

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