New Cocoa’s Season. Fresh Hopes of Price Hike

Trade Minister, Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana launched the cocoa season in Ngomedzap, Nyong and So’o Division in the Centre Region on August 7 with objectives to consolidate last year’s achievements recorded thanks to government’s relentless efforts.

Shawn-Nathan EPANG

Cameroon features prominently among the top cocoa producing countries in the World. Ranked 4th highest producer, the country witnessed a surge in production during the previous cocoa season from 231,642 tons to 253,510 tons. It is on this positive note that the Minister of Trade, Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana on August 7, launched the 2018/2019 cocoa season in Cameroon in Ngomedzap, Nyong and So’o Division in the Centre Region.

As the global cocoa market continues to grow with a strong momentum in 2018, marked by a rebound in prices after a perilous period in 2016 caused by abundant supply on the one hand against timid demand on the other, Cameroonian authorities are therefore poised in consolidating last season’s achievements.  As cocoa demand remains significantly high around the world, driven by the strong performance of the global chocolate industry, fresh hopes of price hike is animating the sector as top cocoa producing countries are expected to further strengthen their leadership in the global cocoa production and create more business opportunities for local cocoa suppliers.

The Minister of Trade has stated the willingness of the government of Cameroon to consolidate achievements and improve on the resilience of the country’s cocoa sector. The government last year put in place several measures to boost the cocoa sector resilience in the wake of drop in prices. Amongst those actions was the reduction by 50 per cent of the export tax, introduction of a premium for quality as well as the Excellence Centre for post-harvest treatment of cocoa in certain production areas through the Cocoa and Coffee Inter-professional Council.         These measures yielded fruits with an increase in quality and quantity of first grade cocoa beans exported between 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 seasons from 1,099 tons to 8,933 tons, marking a 7.13 per cent improvement rate.

With increased government determination to promote local processing in order to valorise locally produced materials, the volume of Cameroonian cocoa beans processed locally by domestic industries also witnessed an increase from 33, 023 to 53,403 tons between the 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 seasons. This explains why the 2018/2019 season is placed under the same guidelines of consolidating achievements and resolutely imbibe quality and excellence in the sector. Cocoa remains Cameroon’s major export and contributes significantly to the National Domestic Product of the country. This is why the government and several other affiliated structures like the National Cocoa and Coffee Board, the Cocoa and Coffee Inter-professional Council and the Cocoa Development Corporation is leaving no stone unturned to boost the sector.

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