By 31 March 2012, Cameroon exported some 541 tons of arabica coffee in the 1st 6 months of 2011-12 season, up from 359 tons by the same date in Y 2011, representing an increase of 50.6%, according to statistics from the National Cocoa and Coffee Board (NCCB) Tuesday evening.
NCCB general manager Michael Ndoping attributed the hike in exports mainly to a rise in production, with most farmers encouraged by high prices on the World market.
Arabica coffee prices on the world market have been very good, which was reflected on the local market with the average price per kilo being around 2,000 CFA francs or an increase of 10-15% compared to the previous season, he said.
This has certainly been a serious motivating factor, encouraging growers to pay more attention to their farms and better beans processing...I can say this because when prices were very low we discovered that some farmers went to the extent of not even harvesting their crops or paying people to do it. They just abandoned everything to rot on the plants.
The general manager of the North-West Cooperative Association (NWCA) Ltd Christopher Mbah also cited encouragement from the government to boost national output.
It is now three years since the government provided us money to develop several nurseries of improved production and disease resistant varieties which we made available to farmers at very cheap rates to replace ageing plantations, some of which have already matured. Moreover, state subsidies have increased more use of fertilizers, he said.
Mbah added, many young people, pushed by high prices on the World market, are also taking to cultivation of the only cash crop in the region. He then urged the authorities to intensify the stopping of smuggling the coffee to neighboring Nigeria.
Cameroon is one of the few African countries that grow both Robusta and Arabica coffee. Robusta is grown in 7 of the 10 regions, while Arabica is produced mainly by small scale farmers in the highlands of the northwestern and western regions. Its season runs from 1 October to 30 September, with main harvest and shipments from March to July.
Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr.
Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr. writes and publishes The Red Roadmaster's Technical Report on the US Major Market Indices, a weekly, highly-regarded financial market letter, read by opinion makers, business leaders and organizations around the world.
Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr has studied the global financial and stock markets since 1984, following a successful business career that included investment banking, and market and business analysis. He is a specialist in equities/commodities, and an accomplished chart reader who advises technicians with regard to Major Indices Resistance/Support Levels.