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APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer/PINA Nius) - Cocoa's world market price has reached its highest in 17 years, doubling in value in the past year.

"The price has been rising over the last 12 months, from $2.50 a kilo twelve months ago to $5 a kilo Wilex general manager Eddie Wilson "This is a great sign for local growers, especially considering the price is not expected to decrease any time soon."

Wilson credited the increase in price to overseas factors that have had huge impacts on cocoa supplies.

"The Ivory Coast in Africa was one of the biggest cocoa suppliers," he said. "But they were hit by the black pod disease which destroys cocoa pods. Their supplies have been hugely reduced because of it."

In countries like Malaysia, which also export cocoa, plantations have been cut to make way for development, he said.

With the unsure future of the kava industry and the fluctuating price of coconut products, cocoa is the best alternative, Wilson said.

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