The Cotton Development Corporation (Sodecoton) is a Cameroonian state enterprise created in 1974 to manage the cotton sector. Its mission is to organize the production and marketing of cotton throughout the territory. It owns several production sites throughout Cameroon.
In Cameroon, long before colonization, the Dii knew shrubbery cotton and used it differently in different regions. The history of cotton cultivation then leads the colonizers to try to develop this culture intensively in the most mountainous part of the country. Sodecoton is the old Cameroonian branch of the French Company for the development of textiles, created in 1949 and nationalized in 1974.
Its total privatization has been required by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) since 1997 but rejected by the peasants, resulting in partial privatization. The World Bank wanted privatization to be accompanied by opening the market to competition 1. But other specialists advised preserving the integrity of the sector, with as main shareholder the CFDT, technical partner of Sodecoton for decades.
Having become a quasi-private enterprise, holding a quasi-monopoly of the cotton market in Cameroon, Sodecoton no longer has any cotton plantations but works in partnership with Cameroonian producers. In 2003 Sodecoton was the third company in Cameroon after Sonara and Breweries of Cameroon. It was also ranked 8th among the best performing African companies. On the side of its outlets, it suffered from the impact of GMOs on its exports and little diversified its customers, who remained essentially local producers. It has thus suffered the fall of Cameroonian textile production. Between 2005 and 2008, local consumption of raw cotton increased from 189 000 t / year to 40 000 t / year, a fall of nearly 78% 2.
The ancestor of the Sodecoton until 1974, the French Company for the development of textiles (CFDT) had as its mission to organize the best cotton growing. With the independence of the early 1960s, most countries became autonomous vis-à-vis the regional management of Bobo-Dioulasso and transformed its subsidiaries into cotton companies: the Sodecoton in Cameroon, the Ivorian Company for the development of textiles ( CIDT) in Côte d’Ivoire, the Malian textile development company set up in 1974 in Mali, Socada in the central African Republic, CotonTchad in Chad, Sotoco in Togo and Sodefitex in Senegal. The Burkina Faso Textile Fibers Company (Sofitex) concerned Upper Volta.