Stakeholders, including cotton experts, have held a third forum to exchange ideas and find ways to stimulate the sector in the northern regions of Cameroon.
An integrated strategy to boost cotton production in the northern regions has come under focus as government is committed to adding value to cotton. This was during the third forum of exchange of ideas by cotton experts which was held in Yaounde, Wednesday May 8. The forum initiated by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Union (EU) was staged under the theme: “Towards an integrated strategy of support to the Cameroonian cotton sector.” The forum follows two others organized in 2017 against the backdrop of the ailing nature of the cotton sector. Cameroon’s cotton sector faces challenges ranging from insecurity, environmental, social, industrial, commercial to energy problems.
Going by Andrea Pinna, Chief of the Central African Regional Representation of the European Investment Bank, even though the challenges are many, the potential advantages are very important. “We are here together to take a high-resolution photograph of the situation regarding the cotton sector in Cameroon.
We are here to take stock of the challenges and the options available to help Cameroon strengthen and expand the cotton sector,” Andrea Pinna said. Prior to the third forum, two studies had been carried out. The first was a comprehensive study on the cotton value chain in Cameroon financed by the EU, and the second, a study on the risks of climate change on the cotton system commissioned by the World Bank.
The Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Alamine Ousmane Mey told Cameroon Tribune that the government will work with its technical and financial partners to reduce poverty and stimulate growth by revamping the cotton sector.
Cameroon’s cotton sector covers 85,000km2 and employs circa 200,000 farmers, while over 2 million people benefit along the cotton value chain. Annual production stands at 250,000 tons and contributes to about 8-10 per cent of GDP of the northern regions. SODECOTON has expressed the financial need to increase production of seed cotton to 400,000 tons by 2022.
Read the original article on Cameroon Tribune.