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Crisis-plagued NW, SW affected cocoa production- Trade Minister

Cameroon’s Trade Minister, Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana, has observed that but for the socio-political pressures in the North West and South West Regions; the country would have hit an annual cocoa production of 300,000 tons.

Cameroon with a current annual cocoa production of a little over 250,000 tons hopes to hit a 600,000 tons annual production in 2020.

Minister Mbarga Atangana made the observation as he officially launched the 2018/2019 cocoa season in Ngomedzap, Nyong and So’o, Division, Centre Region on Tuesday, August 6, 2018.

Minister Atangana addresses stakeholders at launch of cocoa season

According to the Minister, if the major cocoa productions basins particularly in the South West Regions were operating at full capacity, the country would have gone beyond 300,000 of annual cocoa production.

Despite the challenges, the Minister opined that the cocoa season is taking off at a time when the price of cocoa is peaking steam on the world market. The Minister asserted that the quality of Cameroon’s cocoa has been restored.

Going by him, Government’s decision to establish excellence centers for the post-harvest treatment of cocoa has contributed to the results. The Minister cited the implementation of premium to producers. Minister Mbarga Atangana said the country currently enjoys good domestic valuation of cocoa beans.

Cocoa production in Cameroon increased from 231.642 tons in the 2016/2017 season to over 253,000 tons in the 2017/18. It shows at increase of approximately 21800 tons.
Locally, at least 33000 tons of cocoa were processed in the 2016/2017 and 53000 tons between 2017/2018 cocoa season.

Cocoa farmers in during harvesting

On her part, Clementine Ananga Messina, Minister Delegate at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, MINADER, averred that, the positive global prices per kilogram of cocoa show better days ahead for the cocoa sector.

According to Messina, the good prizes will encourage and sustain Cameroon’s target of reaching 600,000 tons per year mark by the year 2020. Messina said Government’s recovery plan for the sector can be seen in the current 253.510 tons.

The MINADER official highlighted the training of young farmers, fertilisation and modernisation of production basins.

Cameroon’s best cocoa production basins are located in the South West Region accounting for some 40 percent of national output. Cooperative officials say the cocoa industry in the Region is worth FCFA 90billion annually.