Increasing incomes of farmers

Organic and fair-trade exports from Africa


Mangoes from Senegal

Project activities in Senegal started a year later than in other countries. Furthermore, the project had to start from scratch, from selecting a beneficiary group onwards. For the selected product, mango, no farmer associations with exporting experience could be readily found.

In collaboration with Agrecol Afrique, an NGO based in Thiès, a pre-selection of two groups was made. Those groups, the 'Fédération des Agropasteurs de Diender' and the 'Union des Groupements des Producteurs de Niayes' had many members with mango orchards, but so far had concentrated their activities on vegetable cultivation and marketing.

These associations were submitted to a motivation and capacity test, by asking them to conduct a survey among their members on acreage and variety of mangoes. In the end it was decided to continue with both groups. This offered the opportunity to use the field officers of one association as the internal control officers of the other association. The pilot farmers and field officer/internal officers are now regrouped in the Bio Niayes Organisations (BNO).

Trap made locally from an old plastic container, hanging from a mango tree.
Fruit fly trap with suneem, a natural pesticide. Photo: C.E. Dankers, 2008.

Apart from Agrécol Afrique, also the Direction Horticole of the Ministry of Agriculture plays an important part in the technical assistance, in the field of fruit fly control, an important pest in mango in West Africa.

The training of the pilot farmers in organic mango production and the set-up of the internal control system has all proceeded well, and BNO received its first inspection and in-conversion status in 2008 and full organic status was obtained in May 2009, ahead of the 2009 season.

The project encountered difficulties in finding an exporter willing to work with BNO to export the organic mangoes. After two false starts, Agrécol Afrique is now assisting BNO to export directly, making use of Feltiplex, a rental packing facility that has been built through a World Bank funded project.

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