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Yaoundé - 25 February 2024 -
Agriculture

Southwest cocoa sales slump 40% yoy amid insecurity and smuggling to Nigeria

Southwest cocoa sales slump 40% yoy amid insecurity and smuggling to Nigeria
  • Comments   -   Wednesday, 13 September 2023 16:42

(Business in Cameroon) - The Southwest region of Cameroon only accounted for 21.17% of the volume of cocoa beans acquired in the production basins during the 2022-23 season. Compared to the previous campaign, the region saw its contribution decline by 40%, according to data provided by the National Cocoa Coffee Board ONCC.

The reasons for this significant drop were not explained but they may be the consequences of the ongoing crisis in this Anglophone region. Indeed, to escape the insecurity in Cameroon’s two Anglophone regions (Southwest and Northwest), traditional traders such as Telcar Cocoa have had to relocate some of their activities.

In 2021-22, Telcar Cocoa acquired 100% of the assets of Ets Ndongo Essomba, one of the leading traders in the Centre region, which has become the country's largest production basin as the southwest struggles to maintain its leadership; 54.4% of purchases were made in the Centre during the last campaign.

Another challenge facing the southwest region is the fraudulent exports of its production to Nigeria. According to officials, the phenomenon even gained momentum last season, resulting in a loss of production estimated by the ONCC at 40,000 tons. To curb this problem, the Ministry of Trade had to ban all beans exports to this neighboring country, one month before the end of the 2022-23 campaign. In a note made public on June 13, 2023, Minister Mbarga Atangana estimated losses at CFA10 billion for exit duties and export royalties and CFA60 billion in terms of repatriation of foreign currency.

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