CAMEROON – Cameroon has inaugurated a giant and ultra-modern coffee processing facility in the Northwest region with a processing capacity of one ton of green coffee beans per hour.

The plant was established under the second phase of the Grassfield Rural Infrastructure and Participatory Development Support Project, with funding worth FCFA 300 million (US$554,000) from the government of Cameroon and the African Development Bank.

According to reports by Business in Cameroon, the facility will enable the coffee producers of the North West Cooperative Association to add value to their coffee beans by roasting, grinding and packaging the finished product.

Further to that, it will enhance the production of the crop improving the livelihood of some 35,000 small holder farmers.

Meanwhile Cameroonian state- owned enterprise, SODECOTON intends to plant 2 million cashew trees in the northern region this year.

This will complement the one million cashew trees already planted by the company over the past two years.

The new plant has a processing capacity of one ton of green coffee beans per hour

The move is part of the company’s strategy to secure lands and diversify income sources for both the company and the about 200,000 producers it currently collaborates with.

Above all, the operation is initiated in the framework of a larger program by the government aimed at planting 20 million cashew trees by over 5 to 6 years.

The cash crop is not yet popular among producers but the hot climate in northern regions of Cameroon is better suited for its production.

According to public authorities and several experts, cashew nut can complement cotton, which is currently the only cash crop produced in the region.

To boost cashew production, in October 2018, with support from the German Cooperation, Cameroon elaborated a national strategy for the development of the cashew value chain.

That strategy aims to create 150,000 jobs in the three northern regions and the East, within five years, with the development of 150,000 hectares of cashew trees during the same period.

Further to that, SODECOTON is currently planning to construct XAF25 billion (US$45.5 million) cotton seed oil production plant in Tchabal Margol-Ngaoundéré, Adamaoua.

This is in anticipation to a rise in cotton production to at least 400,000 tons per annum by 2025 in the country.

The new oil production plant with a daily pressing capacity of 300 tons, will be the third similar infrastructure owned by SODECOTON, joining the facilities in Garoua and Maroua.

To facilitate funding of the project, SODECOTON initiated discussions with financial backers, including the AfDB.

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