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Tottering associative process in Cameroon: Collateral damage of the cotton policy adjustment

Enam J., Klassou C., Folefack D.P., Kouebou C., Fok M.. 2009. Life Sciences International Journal (1) : p. 112-122. International Cotton Conference on "Rationales and Evolution of Cotton Policies", 2008-05-13/2008-05-17, Montpellier (France).

In Cameroon, associative process based specifically on the supply of input on credit dates back to 1987, with the creation of "Associations Villageoises Autogérées" (AVA). The liberalisation option later on led to a shift from the AVA to Common initiative Group (CIG). The global functioning in the supply of inputs to farmers was little changed thanks to the implementation of the "Programme Spécial d'Importation des Engrais" (PSIE) which enhanced timely provision of inputs at quantities and qualities needed. Collective guarantee circles were set up to control the risk of bad management in large groups, hence creating a new associative layer within the village. The end of PSIE in 2001 has led to further adjustment of the associative process by the addition of a supra-village layer, the "Organisation des Producteurs de Coton du Cameroun" (OPCC). The evolution of the associative process has gone along with cotton policy. This process which started with the development of cotton production has in turn contributed to its consolidation. It first spread following the liberal orientation of cotton policy then suffered from the abandonment of farmers in their effort to intensify cotton and food crops. If the option of leaving resource poor-farmers alone to take charge of intensification cost is not examined, it is doubtful that the associative process could become again efficient enough and contribute in the revitalization of cotton sector. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : Économie de production; moyen de production agricole; changement structurel; libéralisation des échanges; politique agricole; association d'agriculteurs; coton; cameroun

Thématique : Coopératives; Commerce, commercialisation et distribution; Économie et politique agricoles

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