(Agence Ecofin) - The volume of local processing of cocoa beans in Cameroon should exceed 100,000 tons in the short term, the Inter-Professional Cocoa-Coffee Council of Cameroon (Conseil Interprofessionnel du Cacao et du Cafe - CICC) announces. This corresponds to a threefold increase of the current capacity, since barely 33,000 tons of beans were officially milled during the 2014-2015 season.
Several investments implemented or projected are the basis of the optimism the Inter-Professional Cocoa-Coffee of Cameroon. There is firstly the investment (FCfa 5 billion) granted this year by Sic Cacaos, the leader in the local processing market. In effect, this subsidiary of Barry Callebaut acquired new equipment to increase its grinding capacity from 35,000 to 50,000 tons in the current harvest.
Then, maintains CICC, there is the increase in grinding capacity underway of the company Fapam Industry, a processing plant which has just benefited from government financing for the Agropoles project. This plant hopes to raise its capacity to 25,000 tons a year.
Finally, the “Support Programme for local cocoa processing initiatives”, implemented by the government, aspires to create ten cocoa processing plants throughout the country. Beside this governmental initiative, SNV, the Dutch institution, which offered a cocoa processing unit to producers in Konyé, in the South West, will duplicate its initiative this year for the producers of Ayos, in the Central region.
However, this type of investment will need to be multiplied, in order to achieve the objectives of the cocoa sector recovery plan adopted by the Cameroonian government in September 2014. It foresees attaining cocoa production of 600,000 tons by 2020, of which 50% being the equivalent of 300,000 tons will be processed locally.