There was a marked slow-down in growth within the primary sector in Cameroon during the 2019 fiscal year.
According to a just published report by the National Institute of Statistics (NIS), this slow-down was occasioned by a drag within the forestry and agricultural components of the sector.
The NIS report reveals that the growth rate within the sector dropped to 2.8 per cent in 2019 as against 5.1 per cent in 2018.
The drop by 2.3 percentage points in annual growth in forestry exploitation and food production component of the primary sector had a negative impact on the overall dynamics of the national economy in 2019.
In effect, according to the NIS report, growth in the food production agriculture stood at 3.3 per cent in 2019 as against 5.1 per cent in 2018 while growth within the forestry component dropped to 2.7 per cent in 2019 as against 7.3 per cent in 2018.
On the other hand, there was a moderate hike in growth within the industrial agriculture sub-sector which saw an increase of +0.7 per cent in 2019.
The growth was occasioned by the updating of production equipment by the cotton agro-industrial complex SODECOTON, the reduction in post-harvest losses and the entry into production of new cocoa beans transformation units in the country.
Another company that contributed positively to the production outcomes in 2019 was Neo Industry located in Kekem in the Western Region of the country. The company has a cocoa transformation factory with a capacity of 32,000 tonnes but which transformed only 4,286 tonnes of cocoa last year.
This disparity in capacity and actual production by the Neo Industry factory was in great contrast to the output of SIC CACAO, the local affiliate of the Swiss company, Barry Callebaut.
Thanks to the augmentation of its transformation capacity which increased from 35,000 to 50,000 tonnes, the company was able to transform 75 per cent of Cameroon’s cocoa beans which amounted to 53,691 tonnes during the last year.