Agricultural Commercialization in Nigeria: A Focus on the Cocoa Sector-Past, Present and Future

Call for Papers

The cocoa economy developed as an innovation within the traditional and non-economic institutional framework of south western Nigerian. The sector is built mainly on the back bone of smallholder farmers, men and women, who overtime have ensured the supply of the produce. It has also gone through several phases of economic shocks, disincentives and incentives even though the produce has remained Nigeria’s number one non-oil foreign exchange earner.  The sector has also suffered from low production due to aging of farm trees, poor prices, pest and diseases, poor policy, poor financial support and low technological input and shortage of labour. Several programs were put in place in order to revive the sector; but it was not until 2011 that it was given priority in terms of policy and investment.

While there is evidence that the initial development of the sector led to positive socio-economic impact, wealth creation and community development current literature indicates that these were not sustained; who the losers or gainers were are also often not discussed. Literature also indicates that the sector is still a viable source of livelihood but inconsistencies such as in technological support, input availability and the emergence of large scale farms impact on the actors/households, especially women in different ways. Much of the information on the sector is often based on major cocoa producing areas in the southwest and sometimes the south west but history shows that the potential for cocoa production resides in at least 15 states of the nation. The current state of its production in the medium and low production zones need to be known. The role and impact of the cocoa sector can be improved upon with a better understanding of the commercialization process, the livelihood trajectories and the impacts on employment, income generation and poverty; food and nutrition security and women.

The effect of climate change, resource conflicts, and farmer-herds men conflicts have different impacts on households and other actors in the cocoa value chain. The recent out-break of the corona virus has sparked further discussions around the resilience of local value chains- development, integration, sustainability and technological innovations. A lot of these have been discussed in a general sense and more often with respect to food value chains. The current status of those whose livelihoods depend on the export crops may have changed as a result of additional pressures from the corona virus pandemic. The livelihood of households and other actors in the Cocoa VC with respect to income, poverty, food and nutrition security, gender roles and decision making may now be exacerbated due to the pandemic. The state of the sector, post the pandemic needs to be examined.

The editors of this volume invite chapters based on original research from scholars of all backgrounds that explore the issues raised in the preceding paragraphs, explore emerging discourses, narratives and counter narratives on the theme including but not limited to: Commercialization pathways, livelihood trajectories, women empowerment, food and nutrition security, the Cocoa VC, climate change, herdsmen conflict and technology. The aim of this book is to help inform future policy and investment decisions to promote more inclusive forms of agricultural commercialization in Nigeria.

Abstracts of 350 words should be sent to:

Submissions will be treated on a rolling basis. Submissions will close on the 25th of March, 2021