Cameroon cocoa output was planned to more than double by 2020. However, this plan is seen to be unachievable since the prices are falling which discourages farmers from planting new crop, revealed by the country’s support company for farmers.
Cameroon cocoa output is the world’s fifth biggest and the producers have experienced farmgate prices to go down more than one-third last year as future contracts with London decreased and an oversupply is forecasted.
Cameroon has produced about 269,495 metric tons of cocoa beans for this year until July and is in the third year of a tactic to increasing yearly output to more than 600,000 metric tons by 2020.
Unfortunately, the continuously falling of prices are gravely discouraging farmers making the plan unattainable and unrealistic according to the Director-General of the Cameroon Cocoa Development Corporation, Jerome Mvondo, in an interview in Yaoundé.
The plan was to increase the output by new plantings of 100,000 hectares each year, but the country only was only able to reach a growth of 2,500 to 3,500 hectares from 2014, added Mvondo. The Cameroon government has likewise cut subsidies for pesticides and fertilizers by 30 billion CFA francs this season.
To deal with the effect of low prices, early in Monday, the government had asked an emergency committee to come up with possible strategies to counter the situation. The committee should also take into consideration how Cameroon can process additional cocoa locally to deal with unpredictable prices, revealed by Luc Magloire Mbarga Antangana, Minister of Trade in a statement given to reporters.
In the statement, Mbarga declared the message to farmer not panic and rush out of the sector since there is a way out.
Cameroon is able to process almost 25 percent of its own cocoa as stated by the National Cocoa and Coffee Board. This sector comprises 3 percent of Cameroon’s gross domestic product.