Unlike in the past years, the Women's day fabric was still to get to the market at press time.
It was a crowd of men and women that the CT team met at the entrance into the Industrial Cotton Company of Cameroon's (CICAM) head office in Ndokoti in the Douala III subdivision. The crowd in search of the women's day fabric queued to have at least a six-yard of the fabric. Different from the years past that the women's day fabric would have been flooding the markets, the story seems to be different in 2020. As of February 17, the fabric was still absent in Douala Markets. Most traders complained that they had been to CICAM but were unable to have a piece. At the CICAM head office, the Sales and Marketing Director Ibrahim Pitti revealed that the situation is a pertinent one as they have been unable to produce enough women's day fabric to put at the disposal of the population. He said in 2018 the fabric was available by the 15 of January while in 2019, the fabric was available by the 21 of January but this 2020 the fabric were made available February 3 and the quantity was insufficient as they started production on the 27 of January. Ibrahim Pitti blamed the delay on the late supply of raw material which is principally cotton from SODECOTON in Garoua. He equally advanced that with the banned of exportation from China as a result of the Corona Virus they have been unable to receive the one million metre they ordered from China. He also mentioned the fact that out of the about 1.06million metre of cotton material they ordered from West Africa (Benin) only 390 metres have been received as the rest have been blocked at the Douala and Kribi sea ports. However, he said negotiations are still ongoing with the seaport authorities for them to release the remaining stock. The Sales and Marketing Director, Ibrahim Pitti further disclosed that for 2020 they have planned to produced three million metres but have so far produced only seven hundred thousand metres. He equally blamed it on frequent electricity cuts which hinder production. He remained optimistic that they will be able to produce 2.3million metres and their priorities are whole sale buyers and those that have already paid for their stock. He reiterated that the fabric is a property of the Ministry of Women Empowerment and the Promotion of the Family and the price remains FCFA 6,800. He regretted that some unscropolous traders are using the situation to sell a piece at CFA 15,000. He therefore called on competent authorities to intervene and put order in the sector.