Sodecoton purchases 100% of the country’s seed cotton production - the most important agriculture crop in Northern Cameroon

Sodecoton purchases 100% of the country’s seed cotton production - the most important agriculture crop in Northern Cameroon

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has pledged a EUR15.5m (US$16.5m) investment to support the production of cotton in the Central African country of Cameroon.

The investment, signed with Standard Chartered Bank Cameroon, is part of a EUR31m one-year pre-export facility provided by the bank to Société de Développement du Coton (Sodecoton) – a state enterprise created in 1974 to organise the production and marketing of cotton throughout the country. It holds several production sites throughout Cameroon.

The investment facility will be used to finance the cotton campaign, primarily for the purchase of seed cotton from smallholder farmers, the ginning of seed cotton by Sodecoton and the transportation of lint cotton to the port of Douala for exports to international markets.

Sodecoton purchases 100% of the country's seed cotton production – the most important agriculture crop in Northern Cameroon.

"It is crucial for IFC to support the cotton sector in Cameroon," says Mehita Sylla, IFC country manager for Central African sub-region. "Cotton is the largest source of employment in Northern Cameroon, providing livelihood to approximately 3m people."

The IFC says it will explore the provision of advisory services to the farmers in collaboration with Sodecoton, to strengthen the cotton value chain. This could potentially include financial management, good agricultural practices and soil management.

Last year, the Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) and the African Cotton and Textiles Industries Federation (ACTIF) strengthened their cooperation through a more strategic partnership designed to create more value addition to Africa's cotton and textile industry.

The two organisations have worked together since 2013 promoting the sustainable cotton and textile industry in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Strategic partnership to boost Africa cotton sector