By Emmanuel Tumanjong
YAOUNDE, Cameroon--Arabica coffee prices have plummeted for the second straight week in the Northwest region of Cameroon, as supplies stockpile at farmgates amid the coronavirus pandemic, farmers and middlemen traders said Thursday.
A kilogram of arabica coffee sold in the English-speaking province for 1,180 CFA francs ($1.95), down 9% from XAF1,300 a week earlier, according to the farmers and traders.
This brings the total price drop to 14% over two weeks, erasing gains made at the start of April.
The Northwest region accounts for around 40% of the country's annual arabica coffee production, according to official data.
The drop in coffee prices is due to a lack of buyers at the farmgates following government calls for social distancing to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The latest figures published by the Central African government show 1,513 cases of coronavirus in the country and 58 deaths, while 808 patients have been cured of the disease. Covid-19 broke out in Cameroon in early March.
In addition to the virus, traders are afraid of threats by secessionists fighting for an English-speaking autonomous state from the majority French-speaking nation.
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