Anthony Nwakaegho /NaijaAgroNet
The National Cocoa and Coffee Board (NCCB) said that Cameroon farmers’ cocoa sales declined to 45 per cent from a year ago having sold 6,619 tonnes of cocoa beans for grinding in the first two months of the 2013/14 season, which began on August 1.
It said the Cameroon’s cocoa production hit 228,948 tonnes in 2012/2013, but months of dry, cool weather in the cocoa-producing Centre, South West and East Regions have sparked fears of a drop in production in 2013/14,
The NCCB said that Sic-Cacaos ,Cameroon’s largest grinder and a unit of Switzerland’s Barry Callebaut purchased 4,057 tonnes of cocoa in September while Chocolaterie Confiserie du Cameroun (CHOCOCAM), the only other grinder in the world’s fifth-largest cocoa grower, did not make any purchases.
In the first two months of the 2012/13 season, by comparison, the two local grinders had purchased 11,984 tonnes, with Sic-Cacaos accounting for 11,183 tonnes and CHOCOCAM for 801 tonnes.
NaijaAgroNet learnt that Sic-Cacaos processes cocoa beans into cocoa cake powder and liquor to be sold in the six-member Economic and Monetary Community of Central African States (CEMAC), and CHOCOCAM, an affiliate of South Africa’s Tiger Brand, manufactures chocolate that is sold only in Cameroon.
Both firms have announced plans to set up another plant in the Ivory Coast this season, extend their markets, CHOCOCAM to the other CEMAC countries and Sic-Cacaos to West Africa, particularly Nigeria.
NaijaAgroNet also noted that Cameroon’s cocoa season runs from August 1 to July 31, with the main harvest period from October to January/February and the light crop harvest from April/May to July.
*With additional reports from Reuters
pix:President Paul Biya of Cameroon