(Business in Cameroon) - Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC) exported 1,312 tons of banana in September 2020, according to figures compiled by the Banana Association of Cameroon (Assobacam). This represents less than 7% of the about 18,000 tons of banana exported by operators in Cameroon during the period.
The company, which is the second-largest employer in Cameroon (with about 22,000 employees) returned to the banana exporting market in June 2020 after 18 months of activity suspension (September 2018 to May 2020). Its activities were suspended because of the violence perpetrated by separatists in the Anglophone regions since 2016 but, since its activity resumption, it is still unable to reach the performance it had before activity cessation.
Indeed, the 1,312 tons of banana it exported in September 2020 barely represents 1/5th of its performance during the same month in 2017 (6,681 tons). Also, it is barely 1/8th of its exports in September 2016 (10,905 tons), a month before the start of the separatist crisis in the Anglophone regions where it operates banana, rubber, and oil palm plantations.
The slow recovery is understandable since this public agro-industrial unit suffered heavy losses due to the so-called Anglophone crisis. Its production units were destroyed and some of its employees were assaulted by the separatists. For the 2018 financial year alone, it recorded a loss of XAF32 billion, according to Christopher Ngalla, Head of the banana segment within the company.
The official (who spoke in July 2019 during a press visit organized by the Assobacam in production areas) added that the crisis at the CDC was a socio-economic disaster for the Southwestern region since the company’s operations used to inject an average of XAF500 million into the region’s economic circuits every month.
Brice R. Mbodiam