By Fabiola Kemegni
Cameroon’s cotton production has witnessed an upsurge of 8.36% in cotton production between 2019 and May 2020 compared to the previous year.
A Performance of 328,448 tons compared to the 2018-2019 season production, during which the agro-industrial company produced 320,062 tons. In actual value, the production represents an increase of 8,386 tons between the two seasons.
Going by SODECOTON, the upsurge in 2019-2020 production is attributed to the distribution of FCFA30 billions of credits in the form of fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides and agricultural equipment.
The company points out that, out of the 328,448 tons produced, 302,586 tons have been ginned giving 128,107 tons of cotton fiber and 161,806 tons of seeds. Then, 81,914 tons have also been delivered to the international market while 46,193 tons are still in SODECOTON’s factories since March 18, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic
Besides SODECOTON has equally carried out maintenance work on 8,367 km of rural tracks during the 2019-2020 cotton production seasons. This comes at a time when most sectors around the world have been greatly affected negatively by the global pandemic. This could have a great impact on GDP if prices of raw materials currently at their lowest on the world market witness a positive increase post pandemic.
Besides, the nuisance comes from the direct trade links between affected partner in continents such as Asia, Europe and the United States. Chinese economy accounts for about 16% of global GDP and it is the largest trading partner of most African countries and the rest of the world. These economies are based on trade, services and industries. However, measures to halt the pandemic have forced them to close their borders and drastically reduce an economic activity which has led to a recession in some of these developed economies. As a result, 46,193 tons of cotton produced is still stocked at the SODECOTON’s factories. Thereby, causing a huge impact on the raw material.
In addition, the disruption in the international market is likely to reduce the demand for Cameroon’s raw materials thereby, causing a great lost in the Cameroon’s economy, estimated to about XAF193 billions of resources per country.
However, the African Union report on Impact of the Coronavirus on the African Economy attest that, it is practically impossible for the continent to take an economic advantage of the wide spread of Covid-19 in other parts of the world, due to its inability to transform its raw materials to respond to the potential high demand of goods and services of the domestic and international markets. They may act as an additional constraint on Africa’s productive transformation, by making trade in value added more difficult. Regardless of the scenario whether optimistic or pessimistic, Covid-19 will have a harmful socioeconomic effect on Africa.