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Cocoa producers urged to be resilient

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 Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana, Cameroon’s Minister of trade has urged cocoa producers in the centre region not to give in to depression provoked by the drop in world cocoa prices.

“We must believe in our cocoa. There is no cause for despair…As long as the world exist, cocoa production will exist…” he declared. To him, Cameroon cocoa producers are “the best paid in the world”.  Minister Antangana said he had asked an emergency committee to compile a strategy on how to deal with the impact of low prices.

For their part, Cocoa farmers in Cameroon say falling prices is discouraging them from planting and engaging new crops.

According to Jerome Mvondo, director-general of the Cameroon Cocoa Development Corporation, Cameroon’s plans to double the nation’s production of cocoa beans by 2020 will not be achieved. To him, the plan is unrealistic and unattainable. “The falling prices are seriously discouraging farmers” he said. Producers in Cameroon and the world’s fifth-biggest cocoa producer have seen farm gate prices slump by more than a third in the past year as London future contracts declined on forecasts of an oversupply. Cameroon, which produced 269 495 metric tons in the year through July, is in the third year of a strategy to increase annual output to more than 600 000 tons by 2020.

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