Reports from Nigeria, once one of the world's great groundnut producers, indicate yet another disappointing harvest this year.
GV Harvested groundnut fields (2 shots)
LV Cattle sating remains of groundnuts
GV Sacks of groundnuts stacked on roadside
LV AND SV Boy marking sacks
GV Lorry stacked with nuts along highway
GV PAN Storage area pyramids of nut sacks and workmen loading sacks from store onto lorry (2 shots)
GV Factory, oil storage tanks and deserted grounds (3 shots)
GV Men unloading nuts at factory (3 shots)
Initials CL/1613 CL/1634 Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Reports from Nigeria, once one of the world's great groundnut producers, indicate yet another disappointing harvest this year.
Last season, drought was blamed for a disastrous crop. But this year, the weather has been favourable and the authorities were forecasting a crop of 650,000 tons. But at the end of the buying season i n mid-February, the Nigeria Produce Marketing Board -- who made the original prediction -- admitted that it had purchased only 120,000 tons.
Some experts believe that the farmers are hoarding in a bid to force up the price, hoping that new producer prices may be announced after April 1. Other farmers are crushing their own groundnuts in hand presses, selling on local markets or smuggling the produce into Niger to get a better price.
All of this has had a paralysing effect on Nigeria's 19 groundnut mills. Between them, they have a capacity for processing about a million tons a year. Because of shortfall in production they have been idle for nearly a year. The output purchased so far will keep the mills busy for no m ore than a couple of months.