A plateau of potatoes
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CTA. 2000. A plateau of potatoes. Spore 86. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/46729
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore86.pdf
Potatoes are hot stuff on the plateau of Fouta Djalon in Guinée. In the last ten years, productivity has risen more than four-fold (up to 22 tonnes/ hectare from 5 t/ha). More than 2,000 tonnes are sold annually on the local markets, but also to...
Potatoes are hot stuff on the plateau of Fouta Djalon in Guinée. In the last ten years, productivity has risen more than four-fold (up to 22 tonnes/ hectare from 5 t/ha). More than 2,000 tonnes are sold annually on the local markets, but also to neighbouring Senegal. One contributing factor to this was the fact that imports of European potatoes were blocked for a six-year period to encourage local production. It seems that the potato is well suited to the cool season from December to March in Guinea, when it is grown in rotation with rice, maize and groundnuts. It also commands a good price, of 350 FG/kg (about E 0.22/kg) for the producer. This price is fixed prior to harvest, and farmers associations guarantee to take the crop, being sure of sales to traders who come to collect sacks whenever there is a lorry load. The Farmers' Federation of Fouta Djalon (FPFD) lies behind this success story. It is a dynamic grouping, organised on a cooperative basis (with central purchasing of fertilisers, and central stocking). It brings together almost 12,000 members. Their work has been complemented by assistance from organisations overseas and French farmers. The success has been especially sweet for women, who represent 70% of the membership. They have been able to benefit from training opportunities in literacy and marketing, and have invested their returns on potatoes into health and schooling costs. The FPFD is now looking further afield, as it were, with plans to grow onions and tomatoes, both much in demand on the local market. Afrique-Agriculture, 276, December 1999 FPFD BP 52 Pita Guinea