Bad road conditions is said to be hampering cocoa trade along the Liberia, Ivory Coast border despite the high price of cocoa on the market.
Avigo Johnson, a cocoa farmer living near the Gblarlay Township in Nimba County said due to bad roads, farmers are not benefiting from the high price of cocoa this season.
He said at present the price of cocoa has gone above US$2 and its Liberian equivalent of over L$180, but the actual price is not gained because of the difficulty the buyers encounter on the road to reach them.
North eastern Nimba County along the Liberia, Ivory Coast border is one of the cocoa belts in Liberia where over thousands of tons of cocoa are harvested annually.
But bad roads remain a serious problem for the growth and development of this cash crop which once made Liberia famous in the world during the late 70s.
Farmer Avigo Johnson said the new method introduced by some local NGOs had produced heavy yields of cocoa and prolonged the bearing season.
“As we speak, we are still harvesting cocoa and it continues to bear due to the new farming method which involves the use of chemical fertilizers,” he said.
“With the new method, we spray our cocoa regularly against disease thereby making the produce fresh and promoting higher yields, but the road is very bad and deplorable,” he complained.
Cocoa remains the world’s source of producing chocolate, but the cocoa industry declines when the price of cocoa falls leaving many cocoa farmers to transform their farms to rubber the price of which was high on the market some years back. The decline in the price of rubber is encouraging cash crop farmers to reinvest in cocoa.
Some companies are now providing farmers with new hybrid cocoa that bears within the period of three years after planting.