(Business in Cameroon) - Giant agribusiness company Société de développement du coton (Sodecoton) is having difficulties milling its cottonseed production that reached a record of 320,000 tons during the current 2018-2019 campaign.
In an interview with the public media on June 25, 2019, the minister of agriculture Gabriel Mbairobe indicated that currently, Sodecoton’s shelling capacity is 285,000 tons and the milling capacity is 140,000 tons. This year, out of the 320,000 cotton seed produced, it was unable to mill 30 to 40 thousand tons.
Gabriel Mbairobe adds that if nothing is done in the next campaign, there could be an estimated culminated volume of unmilled cottonseed of up to 370,000 tons next year. He further indicates that to meet this increased demand for processing capabilities, a new processing plant is planned to be launched during the 2020-2021 campaign and still another one during the 2022-2023 campaign.
He reveals that the capacity of Garoua and Maroua oil-mills should be increased so that by 2023, it should be able to mill 260,000 tons of seed. According to the official, XAF50 billion is needed for these projects.
"Because of the program with the International Monetary Fund, the government was unable to inscribe this borrowing program in the current budget because the negotiations should be done well in advance. However, the government is determined to support this investment program and alternative solutions are being studied in that regard," M. Mbairobe added.