Cameroon: Cotton Development - Govt Secures Fcfa 21 Billion Loan

Two agreements were recently signed in Egypt with the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa.

Circa FCFA 21 billion has been accorded to the government of Cameroon by the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA). Two loan agreements to engage the funds were signed in Cairo, in the Arab Republic of Egypt, on December 28, 2018, by Cameroon's Ambassador in Egypt, Mohamadou Labarang and BADEA authorities.

According to a press release sent to our newsroom by the Minister of Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Alamine Ousmane Mey, about FCFA 15 billion of the circa FCFA 21 billion will be used to import fertilizers for the Cotton Development Cooperation (SODECOTON), while the rest will be used to improve on the production capacity of the company's factories. The funds, which according to MINEPAT, is in line with the objectives of the seven-year great opportunities, is said to be part of government's support to the cotton sector.

Having undertaken a vast programme of agro-industrial diversification through the support of producers and the dissemination of technical innovations in soil fertilization, Cameroon Tribune learned the financing will enable SODECOTON improve its production. It will also help the company to boost the yield of more than 250,000 cotton producers under its supervision, and respond to national and sub-regional demand of cotton products. The financial boost to the company is expected to keep it buoyant, thereby contributing to national growth and socio-economic development.

It should be recalled that in 2017, the General Manager of SODECOTON disclosed the company needed FCFA 40 billion to rehabilitate and modernized its production facility.

After over 50 years of functioning, the machines at SODECOTON became outdated and no longer responded to modern production standards, which was a source of demotivation for producers. At one point in time, SODECOTON was limiting producers, because the company was unable to absorb all production. This pushed some producers to sell their produce to neighboring Nigeria in the black market. The present funding is expected to change the tide.

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