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Business News of Thursday, 14 August 2014

Source: Cameroon Tribune

Nkoetye, a true land of cocoa

This village in the southern region produced more than 50 tonnes of beans this season. Cocoa farmers are already savouring the fruits of reunification.

At Nkoetye, on the Ebolowa- Enongal-Mvangan axis, Department of the Mvila, the reputation of this village, located at 15 km from the regional capital, is due to two facts: the existence of the prehistoric caves of "Mbil-Bekon" (cave of ghosts) on one hand, and on the other part the large scale of cocoa production.

Some argue even that out of about 100 inhabitants, only two are officials, while the other 98 are cocoa planters. And even these two officials have a close link with the cocoa sector, either because their parents have funded their studies from the sale of cocoa, or because they invest incidentally. In any case, Nkoetye is known as "a true land of cocoa”.

Here, any cocoa planter has a field from an average of 10 hectares (ha). At least that gives a total estimate of more than five hundred hectares for the whole of the village. The production is, of course, at the height of the work force of these young farmers whose average age, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and rural development (Minader), is 25 years.

A ride in one of the farms, Saturnin Bilé revealed a near real picture in other plantations. On one side, you find an old plantation, and on the other side, the young or the new. In Nkoetye, the cocoa sector is flooded by both father and son, a legacy that the younger generation has always tried to adapt to with time.

The youth of today plant varieties with very short cycle as well as increased assistance from the State and other organizations such as the ACEFA of Minader. Unlike the past, the cocoa farmers of Nkoetye were grouped into associations, a deal allowing them to join forces in the work and the time to sell the production on the market at the end of a campaign.

At the working level, everything is done in a group, in order to solve the problem of the scarcity of labor. We go to the field such a today, according to a timetable, for a group of twenty people, we work three hours and the cleared surface can amount to three hectares. These organized grouped sales in markets, allow cocoa farmers to negotiate while in position the of strength, allowing them to get remunerative prices and live well by the fruits of their labor.