This paper investigates if there is a significant long – run relationship between cocoa exports and economic growth in Nigeria. The study covers the periods between 1981 to 2014. The underlying models are the export led growth, hypothesis, neo – classical growth model, presbich trade model and Keynesian model. In the formulated model, real gross domestic product was used as a proxy for economic growth. The explanatory variables used were cocoa export earnings, exchange rate and government expenditure on agriculture. The study made use of unit root test and Johnsen maximum likelihood test of co-integration. It was discovered that a long – run equilibrium relationship exist between cocoa export and economic growth such that it is elastic in nature meaning that a unit increase in cocoa exports will bring more than a proportionate increase in the real gross domestic products in Nigeria
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
The oil boom of the 1970s brought with its fundamental changes in the Nigerian economy particularly the agricultural sector. The first is the heavy dependence of the economy on crude oil export as the main source of foreign exchange earnings and revenue to the government. Secondly, agriculture was relegated to the background resulting in a declining trend in its contribution to export earnings. Cocoa contributed immensely in 1960s and 1970s growth of Nigerian economy (Adeyeye, 2014). For example, it served as source of raw materials, employment generation and made a significant contribution to gross domestic product (GDP).
In1960 Nigeria ranked among one of the highest cocoa producers in the world. For instance, cocoa output peaked at 308,000 tonnes in1964, unfortunately the figure dropped sharply in 1980 and 1981 to 155 tonnes and continually down to 110,000 tonnes by 1990 and 1991 farming seasons. This trend has being since and it has negatively impacted to economic growth and general economic development.
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