Fire outbreak has destroyed 30 hectares of cocoa farmland in Abia State.
Newshereandthere learnt that the incident occurred amid a jump in cocoa prices, might result in a 4% decline in supply and the destruction of around 11,000 tons of the chocolate component pod during the mid-crop harvest season.
Overall, the mid-crop harvest ranges from 280,000 to 300,000 tons.
Speaking on the development, the Cocoa Farmland Association of Nigeria Zonal Chairman, John Kalu said the fire in Abia State started by farmers as a faster and more cost-effective technique of clearing land for the forthcoming planting season
He added that strong gusts from the prevailing dry Harmattan weather have aggravated the problem.
As a result, the incident could lead to a decline in output, exacerbating the worldwide supply gap and putting pressure on the commodity’s international prices, which have doubled in the last year, reaching a more than 40-year high.