Mango producers from Ghana visit their peers in South Africa

04.05.2016

The South African mango industry has a lot to share: Top high-density plantations, well pruned and with efficient pest and disease control; low-cost automated pack houses; innovative processing technologies to transform mangoes into juice, achar or dried fruits. During the second week of December, 2015, the 20 leading mango producers of Ghana had the opportunity to experience South African hospitality and receive an insight into cutting-edge practices and technologies which the long-established Boer farmers as well the passionate scientists of the Agricultural Research Council of Mpumalanga Province demonstrated unreservedly. The visit was made possible through former mango grower and processor and now AFC consultant, Olivier van Buynder, who has best inside knowledge of the South African fresh produce industry. A key lesson of the visit is that Ghana needs many more individually-owned smaller pack houses – instead of the few large ones which are often too distant from the areas of production – if the country wants to tap the potential of exporting fresh fruits to Europe. With Olivier’s assistance, one South African mango pack house has already been ordered by Ghanaian mango producers to be established in Tamale before the start of the 2016 season, and more orders of small, decentralised pack houses are now expected. The study tour – organised under the auspices of the FAGE National Mango Roundtable of Ghana – was part of the activities implemented by AFC in support to the GIZ “Market Oriented Agriculture Programme (MOAP)” in Ghana, which is targeting improvements along the mango, pineapple, citrus and maize value chain. It will hopefully open up a new era of cooperation between entrepreneurs and institutions of Ghana and South Africa.

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