It is certainly not normal in the 21st century for any agricultural productive sector to continue to hinge of on traditional methods of production. The reason is simple. A plethora of technological innovations have been building up in all sectors of the world’s economy and fast economies are taking advantage of that. This wave of innovation has not been able to traverse the cotton production and processing sector among Africa’s producing countries. Officials of cotton production companies and experts in the sector have not been at ease with the prevailing situation.
This worries threaded through the four-day reflection organised in Cameroon’s Garoua by cotton producing companies of the continent. Actors seem to be unanimously agreed that the whole trick lies in the intensive use of machines otherwise referred to as mechanisation. This stretches through the whole process of cotton development with particular focus on farming and processing.
Talk of cotton and minds will quickly run to clothing; which incidentally is one of the major necessities in human life. Investors like to deal with necessities for obvious reasons; quick turnover. Cotton which is a veritable raw material for clothing and which is produced in a number of countries in Africa is unfortunately exported in its raw state. “When one sees the tremendous sums that the State of Cameroon spends for used clothes and foreign textile, one is just shocked! Why not inject this money into the creation of local textile factories? CICAM alone is not enough anymore” says Adamou Saliou the head of the Department of Communication of the Cotton Development Corporation (SODECOTON).
Public opinion thinks that the absence of a policy of industrialization of the country explains in part this strong tendency of the country to depend on foreigners to dress its citizens. The issue is what is this policy supposed to be? Government seems to point an accusing finger on the non-vibrant nature of the private sector. The investment law, it is argued, has been revised easing the procedure for potential investors. The cotton sector would have been a bastion for employment if the bulk of its raw material were transformed locally. Already, SODECOTON which is the main actor is said to have provided employment for 3.5 people. This is impressive but could be better if more industries come up to add to the famous CICAM.
Source: Cameroon Tribune www.cameroon-tribune.cm