|African Agriculture: The Critical Choices (UNU, 1990, 222 p.)|
|6. Nigeria and the Ivory Coast: Commercial and export crops since 1960|
Statistics relating to commercial and export crops are highly reliable in so far as products such as rubber, or those not traditionally consumed in the countries where they are cultivated, such as cocoa or coffee, are concerned, but such products as palm oil or groundnuts, which are widely consumed by the local populations, and an increasing proportion of which does not pass through the official marketing agencies (except when these are themselves producers) are less easy to quantify with any degree of accuracy.
Extrapolating relevant figures from the abundant statistical data provided by the UN and its specialized agencies it is proposed to examine broad trends of production and their immediate consequences on the external trade and the processing industries of each country.
For both countries cocoa is currently the most important crop. At independence, Nigeria was second only to Ghana as world producer,2 - reaching peak production in 1970, before beginning a decline that continued until 1982, when it was only 80% of its 1960 level and 64% of 1970 level. Despite this fall in production Nigeria is among the leading group of world producers (Ivory Coast, 25%; Brazil, 22%: Ghana, 10%; Nigeria. 8%; Cameroun 6.75%)3 with 130.000 metric tons of cocoa (86.66% of its total production) exported in 1982.
The production pattern in the Ivory Coast has been altogether different. At independence, the figure for cocoa production was half that of Nigeria's. Thereafter, however, with production increased annually, by 1971 the Ivory Coast had more than doubled its 1960 tonnage, by 1974 it was above that of Nigeria, and in the year 1977-78, replaced Ghana as leading world producer and exporter.4 By 1980, production had increased four times that for 1960.
Between 1960 and 1966 Nigeria, with an annual production of palm kernels averaging over 400,000 metric tons, was far and away the leading world producer, supplying 50% of total world consumption.5 But with the civil war (1967-70) mainly involving the former Eastern Region, which is the source of 65% of Nigeria's oil palm products,6 production was halved for three consecutive years. Between 1970 and 1979, production increased significantly (except for the bad years. 1973 and 1978), reaching about 300,00() metric tons per annum. After 1979 Nigeria made up much of the shortfall suffered during the tragic years 1967-70, and in 1982 production was 81% of that in 1960, which sufficed to meet domestic needs and to deliver 15.71% on to the world market (as against 96.52% of total production in 1960-66).
Ivorian palm kernel production, insignificant compared to Nigeria's, was marked by a rapid succession of years of growth and years of decline. In good years, since 1974, however, the 1960 harvest has doubled, and a surplus for export has been available (17.8% exported in 1982).
As with palm kernels. Nigeria's annual palm oil production was very high during the first six years of independence: over half a million metric tons, and, during those years, the country was the biggest world producer.7 As was the case for palm kernels, production of palm oil fell sharply in the 1967-70 period although by less than palm kernels (between - 18% and -37% compared to the 1966 level). Production began to recover in 1970, with (unlike palm kernels) a significant leap forward in 1974, when all previous records were beaten, and progress was more or less continuous thereafter. The 1982 tonnage was almost 27% higher than that of 1960. Despite this progress, however, there was a serious problem. This product formed part of the daily diet of a large proportion of the Nigerian population, which had grown by almost 92% between 1960 (42.950.000) and 1982 (82,390.000), but the domestic consumption requirements had increased three-and-a-half times above the production level. After 1976, therefore. Nigeria became a net importer of palm oil and, in 1982, imports were 153.000 metric tons at a cost of US$ 92.000.000 in foreign exchange.
In 1960, the Ivory Coast produced less than 20.000 metric tons of palm oil, 30 times less than Nigeria. By 1982, however, production had risen by a factor of nine-and-a-half and already equalled one-quarter of Nigeria's production, despite the progress the latter had recorded. Thus not only was the Ivory Coast enabled to become self-sufficient by the late 1960s, but also to have substantial surpluses to export.
Cotton, one of the commercial and export crops of the savanna and Sahel regions, is very sensitive to climatic vagaries. In Nigeria, production followed a rather capricious path, with a mediocre harvest (below 40.000 metric tons) one year in two, alternating with an adequate or more than adequate harvest. After 1978, however, the trend was downwards: the 1960 production figure was reduced by almost 27% in 1982 when imports of cotton fibre totalled 58.000 metric tons at a cost of US$ 85,000.000.
In the Ivory Coast, production grew almost continuously, so rapidly that by 1982, production was over 30 times that in 1960 and had easily overtaken Nigeria's. Additionally, in 1982, the Ivory Coast was able to export over 62% of its cotton production.
Until 1971, the volume of groundnuts in shells produced in Nigeria oscillated between one and two million metric tons, making it the largest African producer, the largest world exporter and one of the largest world producers.8 But after 1972 production fell to less than half a million metric tons, with the lowest levels recorded in 1973. 1974, 1975. 1977 and 1978 with harvests far below half a million metric tons. Since 1979, a slight recovery has been underway, but in 1982, production was only 48% of that in the 1960s. Groundnut oil, like palm oil, is widely used for the culinary needs of the Nigerian people. By 1975, one consequence of this dramatic fall in production was the lack of any exportable surplus; and most local refineries have closed or work only sporadically.
In the Ivory Coast, although between 1960 and 1982 tonnages produced rose two-and-a-half times, self-sufficiency seems not to have been achieved.
Nigeria's rubber production since independence has varied between an annual 43,000 and 72.000 metric tons which, until 1971, was entirely exported. Today, it continues broadly to meet domestic demand and achieve large surpluses for sale on the world market - some 60% of total production in 1982.
The Ivory Coast, which embarked on rubber production only after independence, secured more than satisfactory results: starting from nil in 1960, by 1980 it was producing over 20,000 metric tons, all of which, so far, is sold to Third World countries.
In 1960, neither Nigeria nor the Ivory Coast produced any sugar, all consumption was met by imports. Nigeria began producing sugar in 1965 and, until 1975, production rose reasonably satisfactorily, levelling until 1977, then beginning to fall. But at no point has Nigeria come anywhere near sugar self-sufficiency, and only in 1964 and 1968 did imports fall below 50,000 metric tons. Except in 1974, imports between 1971 and 1976 were invariably well above 100,000 metric tons, and since 1977, tonnages imported have risen precipitately: almost one million metric tons in 1981 and 1982, costing the nation almost a half billion US dollars in 1981, and US$ 346 million in 1982.
The Ivory Coast began to produce sugar in 1975, ten years after Nigeria. But the country invested such massive resources in it that by 1981 it was already producing six times more sugar than Nigeria: was more than amply covering the needs of its population; and had large exportable surpluses. Unfortunately, Ivory Coast's sugar surpluses will be difficult to sell on the world market for reasons which will be mentioned below.
Coffee, bananas and pineapples
Nigeria's coffee production is insignificant and the available statistics make no mention of any production of bananas or pineapples. The Ivory Coast is easily the leading African producer and exporter of these fruits and produces and exports coffee.
The foregoing highlights the contrasting trends in the development of the commercial and export agricultures in Nigeria and the Ivory Coast. On the one hand. Nigeria, at independence, one of the largest world producers and exporters of numerous tropical products was, two decades later, no longer able to supply the international market (except for cocoa and rubber) and, in 1982, was producing quantities generally lower than those of 1960, and was no longer able to meet its domestic demand.
On the other hand, the Ivory Coast, in 1960 of average significance among world producers and exporters of agricultural raw materials from tropical countries, had become. 20 years after independence, the leading African country for commercial and export agriculture; a leading world producer and exporter of cocoa; the third world producer and exporter of coffee, and a leading African producer and exporter of bananas and pineapples, more than meeting most of its population's needs as well as those of a relatively large local manufacturing industry for most agricultural products.
Consequently, it emerges that a process of under development has occurred on the one hand, and an exceptionally vigorous process of expansion on the other.
In order to try to understand the reasons for this contrast the following pages will study the specific conditions and particular experiences of each country.