(Business in Cameroon) - Cameroon’s cotton development corporation Sodecoton, which supervises more than 250,000 cotton producers in the three northern regions, ended the 2018-19 campaign with a turnover of about XAF140 billion. Information was obtained following a Board meeting held on May 31 in Yaoundé.
This is the best achievement since 2004 and it makes a 60,000 tons increase in production over the period reviewed. Authorized sources revealed that cotton output in Cameroon reached 316,100 tons in 2018-19 against 254,000 the previous campaign; highest performance in 15 years.
Good operating performances also reaped a profit of XAF5.1 billion, 5 times that of the previous year (XAF1.2 billion); also a record figure never achieved since 2004.
These results translate the effectiveness of reforms implemented to boost growth within this company which run cumulative losses of more than XAF35 billion successively in 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16. The recovery plan initiated by Sodecoton’s top management in 2016 consisted in upgrading the rolling stock and reducing field-factory transport time, thus avoiding cotton wetting.
Reforms also cover the rehabilitation of production tools that made it possible to run equipment at 90% of their capacity, against 50% before; the reorganization of the trade system for cotton oil and byproducts, which once benefited most direct sellers whose significant fee made the products expensive for the end consumer.
By mid-2016, due to poor sales of Diamaor oil, Sodecoton still had a stock of 149,000 packs and 4 million liters of unpackaged oil. Loosened conditions to acquire approvals and rewards to best vendors enabled, according to official sources, to sell stock and increase sales of the Diamaor brand by 64% between 2016 and 2018. This performance increased turnover by XAF7 billion in the vegetable oil segment by the end of 2018.
Brice R. Mbodiam