The current study establishes a link between cocoa production and the migration of seasonal workers particularly commercial sex workers from urban centers to cocoa production centers during particular periods of the year. Cameroon as a whole operates at the primary level of production with agriculture dominating economic operations. Cocoa production constitutes an important component of the economy of the study area, with the Cocoa producing towns of Munyenge, Ekata, Bai, Bafia and many others usually attracting seasonal migrants especially during periods of cocoa boom. Cocoa boom creates a different social space that attracts different categories of social workers- petit traders, cocoa buyers and commercial sex workers who migrate into these areas with the intention of making fast gains from their sex expoits. Upon arrival in these areas the sex workers go into prostitution, contract sex deals and contract marriages that last for the period of the boom. The sex workers are usually from urban centers like Douala, Mutengene, Tiko and Limbe. Cocoa booms around these areas are usually characterized by a kind social euphoria that is animated by the importation of sex workers, heavy drinking and lavish spending. This kind of social atmosphere around the cocoa production centers increases the vulnerability of the sex workers and cocoa operators to HIV/AIDS. To realize the objectives of this study, an interdisciplinary approach was adopted because it cuts across the social sciences and history. A qualitative design of analysis was employed. Participant/ observer mechanisms were equally an efficient instrument of gathering data. The scarcity of literature made this researcher to rely mostly on oral sources. From the findings, the cocoa producing centers of Munyenge, Ekata and many others record a huge influx of migrants during periods of cocoa boom including Commercial Sex Workers. Contract marriages and Sex contracts are common in these areas during those seasons resulting to an increase in mobility-induced vulnerability to HIV.
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Author Name: Martin Sango Ndeh
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Keywords: Seasonal Migration, Contract Sex, Poverty Alleviation, Cocoa Production, Littoral Quadrant Cameroon.