(Business in Cameroon) - Actors in the cotton sector in Cameroon have been denouncing for several weeks the fraudulent export of Cameroonian cotton to Nigeria. A reliable source within the National Cotton Development Corporation (Sodecoton) revealed that 71 tons of seed cotton being illegally exported to Nigeria were recently seized during border controls.
The source said this volume is just the “tip of the iceberg”. Indeed, the prices of seed cotton in the neighboring country are more attractive. "The collection forecasts for the sectors particularly affected by fraud are 193,400 tons of seed cotton, and it is feared that, given the quantities already collected in the ginning factories and the projections made by the competent technical services, 19,500 tons (i.e., 10% of the collection forecasts) will be lost to date (33,000 tons were lost in 2010-2011 due to the same phenomenon, ed), including 11,400 tons for the Far North region and 8,100 tons for the North region. And this loss could increase if more countermeasures are not taken in time," the source said, stressing that if these fraudulent exports intensify, Sodecoton could record losses of around CFA9 billion during the current 2021-2022 cotton season, due to the drop in production initially projected at 369,000 tons.
Moreover, we learn that these financial losses do not include the input credits made available to producers by the cotton company in the three northern regions of Cameroon in exchange for their production, which they end up selling in Nigeria. To discourage producers, who are attracted by the purchase prices charged in this neighboring country, even though they received all the support and assistance from the Cameroonian cotton company, Sodecoton threatens to exclude them, along with all their accomplices, from receiving input credits for the next season.
Brice R. Mbodiam