Jul. 26, 2012
Cocoa farmers in Cameroon's important cocoa-producing center region have been given 3.15 billion CFA francs ($5.88 million) to fight fungi-related disease attacking cocoa pods, a top official in the ministry of agriculture and rural development said Saturday.
Central Cameroon accounted for nearly 40% of the harvest in Cameroon--the world's fifth-largest producer of cocoa--in the 2010-2011 season, which ran from August to July.
The area, like all of Cameroon's seven cocoa-producing regions, is in the mid-crop cocoa harvest and heading toward the main crop output, which typically starts by September. The fungi-provoked black-pod disease generally attacks cocoa pods during the rainy season.
"You have to put to good use the resources put at your disposal by the government to improve on the quantity and quality of your produce," the secretary-general at the ministry of agriculture and rural development, Jean Claude Eko'o Akoafane, was quoted as saying Saturday by state-run radio, in an excerpt of a speech he delivered to the farmers.
Mr. Akoafane was speaking Friday in the important cocoa-producing town of Mbalmayo, situated 40 kilometers south of Yaounde, where the funds were handed to hundreds of farmers. The occasion was used to launch activities of the support project for fungi control, which is financed by the Cocoa Development Fund, or Foddec.
The Cameroon government created the Cocoa Development Fund five years ago to provide financial support for the crop's development.