CAMEROON – In a recent collective sale event held on January 20 in Meyomessala, Southern Cameroon, Telcar Cocoa, a local dealer for American giant Cargill, has made headlines by securing a significant 73 tons of high-quality cocoa.  

The auction, overseen by the National Cocoa and Coffee Board (ONCC), showcased Telcar Cocoa’s competitive prowess as it outbid rivals with an impressive offer of CFA2,520 (US$4.16) per kilogram, surpassing the initial bidding price of CFA2,250 (US$3.72) per kilo. 

Cameroon’s minister of commerce, Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana, who attended the event, hailed this achievement as a “world record,” enabling Meyomessala producers to directly pocket nearly CFA184 million (US$303,929.91) without involving intermediaries.  

The purchase included 67 tons of grade 1 cocoa and 6 tons of grade 2 cocoa, reflecting Telcar Cocoa’s commitment to acquiring high-quality produce. 

This successful bid by Telcar Cocoa marks a significant increase of US$0.78 compared to a previous auction held on November 22 in Nkolmbene, where the company secured the entire 120 tons of cocoa with an offer of US$3.39 per kilo, outperforming four competing operators. 

Atangana, previously characterizing the Nkolmbene bid as a “record price,” expressed optimism about further increases.  

He emphasized the uniqueness of Cameroon’s cocoa and the government’s campaign for its recognition as an agroforestry product, deserving remuneration beyond conventional cocoa prices, potentially including a premium. 

“The CFA2,520 price is a signal that our campaign for the recognition of Cameroon’s cocoa as an agroforestry product, the premium for which it can be entitled to, is on the right track,” stated Atangana. 

Cameroon’s cocoa has gained recognition on the International Cocoa Organization’s list of fine cocoa, and Telcar Cocoa maintains its leading position as the top exporter, boasting a market share of 35.8%, according to the ONCC. 

Meanwhile, Lutheran World Relief (LWR) has launched the Child Labour Education and Resilience (CLEAR) project aimed at eliminating child labor in cocoa production in Nigeria. 

The project as reported by Business Day spans one year starting October 2023 to the end of September 2024 in Idanre and Ifedore local government areas of Ondo State. 

The project seeks to address the causes of child labour, to empower communities that have limited education on child labour, to help improve net income from cocoa farming and other sources, and to equip children of cocoa farmers with life-building skills.

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