Nigeria’s southeastern Cross River state is setting up a 4-billion naira ($10-million) cocoa-processing plant to start operations in August and target the export market, an official said.
Cross River, which accounts for about 30% of Nigeria’s output, has negotiated with chocolate companies based in Italy to receive supplies from the grinder, Peter Egba, the commissioner for industry, said in a phone interview from Calabar, the state capital.
Nigeria is the world’s fifth-biggest producer of the chocolate ingredient, with the Cocoa Association of Nigeria expecting the 2020 main harvest between October and December to yield 148,750 tons. There’s a smaller harvest between April and June. The investment comes at a time Nigeria is seeking to diversify its economy away from oil by boosting agricultural production and processing.
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