BIOLOGICAL DRIED FRUITS EXPORTED FROM GUINEA
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CTA. 1996. BIOLOGICAL DRIED FRUITS EXPORTED FROM GUINEA. Spore 65. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47433
The export of fresh and biologically dried fruit is the specialty of the Bio Guinea Company which has its operations in Kiliagbein the Kindia region, some two hours drive north of Conakry. Annual production of 20-25 tonnes of dried bananas,...
The export of fresh and biologically dried fruit is the specialty of the Bio Guinea Company which has its operations in Kiliagbe in the Kindia region, some two hours drive north of Conakry. Annual production of 20-25 tonnes of dried bananas, mangoes and pineapple represents some 300 tonnes of fresh produce bought from about 100 small producers who are organized in three cooperatives. The company employs 30 people, mostly women, who have received in-service training on selecting the best fruits, cleaning, hand slicing and drying, and correct storage. In addition to its technical and management skills Bio Guinea has two major advantages. One is its efficient marketing system, mainly in France, the Netherlands and Austria; the other is its brand label well known in Europe, that places it at the top of the range of competing products. As explained by the founder of the business Jacques Mesnil, fruits are very well presented under plastic film 'in little pockets of traditionally woven palm leaves which add to the exotic nature of the products which are really appreciated in Europe.' Bio Guinea is close to a hydroelectric dam (and thus electricity) and is on a good road to Conakry: but it has no telephone. Jacques Mesnil says his problems include the inadequate nature of the airport handling facilities and the actual transport costs. 'We export by air, which costs 7FF a kilogramme (including delivery to the airport) whereas many of our competitors export by sea at a third of the price.' More generally he bemoans the lack of seasonal credit: 'It must be clearly stated that the producers receive no assistance. The cooperatives are not very dynamic and Bio Guinea has to provide credit all along the line.' In spite of this financial burden, and the very strong competition from Asia for dried products, the company plans to quadruple production to 80-100 tonnes of dried fruit in the next three years.