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Nigeria cocoa output seen rebounding in 2017/18

Staff Writer |
Nigeria should see a bumper cocoa harvest in the coming season as late rains have helped boost pod production, the head of the cocoa association said.

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Sayina Riman, president of the Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN), expects output for the new season which starts in October to hit between 300,000 tonnes and 320,000 tonnes, up sharply from the season just ended which was blighted by poor weather.

The cocoa season in Nigeria, the world's fourth biggest producer, runs from October to September, with an October-to-February main crop and a smaller light or mid-crop that begins in April or May and runs through September.

The 2016/17 season started at a slow pace after drought cut the mid-crop harvest by 40 percent.

Output for that season was estimated to reach 260,000 tonnes, Riman said, lower than a revised forecast of 280,000 tonnes and down from 340,000 tonnes forecast at the start of the season.

"We have late rains which has affected production. We are hoping that from the first week of October, we should be talking of increased yield," Riman told Reuters.

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