The Ivorian coffee and cocoa sector will be liberalized in the fall, beginning of the new harvest campaign precious cherries and other beans. A mini-revolution in Abidjan. The World Bank has indeed granted late July in the Ivory Coast, in exchange, a credit to the agricultural sector of $ 150 million (750 million) which will be endorsed on the board of administration of the institution Bretton Woods on 26 September. This loan enabled by contagion with Germany and France, who will respectively give 20 and 60 million (100 and 300 million) to Ivory Coast.
For years, international donors demanding a little more transparency in the functioning of the sector managed by the Stabilization Fund, the famous “Caistab” state within the Ivorian state. The days of its president, the dreaded Rene Amani, the institution’s head are numbered, do we murmur today in Abidjan He should jump after the presidential election scheduled in two months.
The reform of the sector, which provides 39% of Ivorian exports, was expected. But the Ivorians were skeptical. Until 22 August, when the Council of Ministers announced its kickoff. Yesterday, a statement from the presidency published a full page of Fraternite-Matin, the government daily, has specified terms. The distribution of bags, the organization of transport are made in private, purchase centers Caistab being removed. Caistab will no longer early in the season an indicative price of buying coffee and cocoa farmers. So far, the price set by the fund was guaranteed, ensuring security to the producer. “The powers of the body are considerably reduced, but it does not completely disappear. Rather, it is transformed into recording chamber of export contracts, “says a major exporter. The liberalization of the sector will end the corruption and favoritism. “These are small exporters who enjoyed the political protection that will disappear. They will regroup or lean to big business’, provides one of his colleagues in Abidjan. The selection is also economic: a decree fixed at 200 million CFA francs (CHF 2 million) minimum share capital required for the approval of an exporting company twice previously.
Caistab employs thousands of officials ubiquitous throughout the industry. The Ivorian government will resettle in large numbers. “Their experience in the sector would enable many to get hired by private actors, once restored the free market,” predicts a specialist.
The World Bank has pushed in the 80s many African countries to liberalize their export sectors. Denationalise limit the plethora of civil servants, the liberal creed is necessarily imposed on the country in order to receive the financial windfall. A path adopted by the Ghana largest cocoa producer. The Accra Cocoa board leaves to private carriers. But other countries, like Cameroon, have suffered liberalization led hussar.
The largest exporter was granted a negotiated solution with the local leaders. The richest countries of the franc zone have been relatively benefited from soaring prices of raw materials in 1994. The question is what will be the sustainability of the quality of products: controls will no longer be provided by officials checkout. Only the purchaser shall be free to take or leave. Rest especially whether producers will not suffer more directly the impact of price fluctuations. The funding of the institution is there to help their adaptation to competition. The big exporters, in any case, are rubbing their hands in anticipation of a game strictly regulated by supply and demand. And minimize the consequences of the reform. “Yesterday Caistab certainly set a guaranteed purchase price. But you could already buy cheaper in the bush. If we were caught, we could be imprisoned. Tomorrow, we no longer will risk nothing, “said an exporter.