Yaounde, Cameroon Africa. (Cameroon News) – Cameroon is today playing host to activities marking the 50th year anniversary of the Alliance of Cocoa Producing Countries (COPAL). And exhibition of products made of cocoa and the production and processing potential of cocoa-producing countries is going on at the Yaoundé Multi Sports Complex.
The Secretary General of COPAL Ivorian born Nanga Coulibaly said that the major achievement is that COPAL has succeeded to maintain cocoa prices at a reasonable level despite the global economic crisis. The 50th anniversary of COPAL comes after the 75th General Assembly of the Alliance that ends later today in Yaoundé.
Activities marking the 50th anniversary of the Alliance of Cocoa Producing Countries (COPAL) have been organized in Yaoundé with representatives from member countries present.
There are exhibitions of cocoa and products made from cocoa at the sports complex in Yaoundé.
COPAL was created by cocoa-producing countries to solve the problems the sector encounters.
Fifty years on, what have been the achievements and challenges of the organization?
The first success, the Alliance of Cocoa Producing Countries (COPAL) boasts of is that it has successfully made the sector sustaining for 5 million cocoa farmers.
The Secretary General of COPAL Nanga Coulibaly of Côte d’Ivoire nationality says they have also maintained prices at good levels despite economic difficulties.
Paul Nanga Coulibaly: One measure of achievement is to bring the scientists together, to let the people know the value of cocoa, to bring the producer together and make supply at the same level of the demand because if the supply is more than the demand the price can fall.
He also congratulated researchers for proving that black cocoa consumption can improve the health of the people even if medical experts aren’t quite ready to recommend cocoa supplementation in the treating high blood pressure.
We need to consume cocoa to fight disease and cardiovascular diseases and even malaria.
But for a 50-year old organization to succeed in assembling just 10 of 50 cocoa producing countries sounds not good enough. Nanga Coulibaly sees no problem in that.
The 10 countries their production is more than 75 percent of the world cocoa production.
There are however challenges.
Produce good quality domestic consumptions will be higher.
The 50th anniversary of COPAL is one out of three major cocoa events organized in Cameroon. There is also the 75th General Assembly of COPAL and the International Conference on Cocoa Research to kick off next Monday.