Frutas & Legumes (F&L) is a vertically integrated organic cashew and mango export company in rural Guinea-Bissau (GB), a Fragile and Conflict-Affected state (FCS); and, the ninth poorest country worldwide. F&L is undertaking a project to expand, diversify and add-value to its exports of organic nuts, fruits and vegetables seeking at least to triple export volume. The project to be financed by IFC includes the following elements.
Purchase of irrigation equipment for agricultural fields;
Purchase of machinery for processing dried mango, cashew and sesame to add value in-country;
Crop diversification (avocado, lime, lemon) that will facilitate year-round sales, as these rotation fruits will be produced and processed during the cashew and mango off-season;
Expansion of an outgrower scheme, Agrieco; and,
F&L is situated to the northeast in Oio region roughly seventy (70) Km or two hours from the Capital, Bissau, and practically in the center of the country. The region borders Senegal to the north, the Guinea-Bissau regions of Bafat\u0102\u0104, Bissau and Biombo to the east, the Rio Geba/Guinea-Bissau region of Quinara to the south and the Guinea-Bissau region of Cacheu to the west. There has not been any local administration since the civil war of 1998-99 and all the social services are provided by organs of civil society such as F&L and other government agencies.
F&L started in 2013 with the acquisition of 1,750 ha land constituting a farming operation known as Agri-Bissau constructed in the early 1980s by a Belgian entrepreneur. The parcel is partially covered by cashew and mango plantations that were abandoned for ~13 years. Since the inception of farming activity revival, the company has focused on the following.
Establishing organic production of crops for exports to European markets;
Obtaining DRC, certification of quality for export to European markets;
European Commision certification for Organic Farming, BIO;
PursuingDemeter Biodynamic Farm Standardcertification (Demeter). Demeter is a comprehensive organic farming method that requires the creation and management of a closed system, minimally dependent on imported materials, that meets its needs from the living dynamics of the farm itself;
Achieving GlobalGAP, a raw materials food safety certification scheme, for farming operations and the pack house;
Creating Agrieco, a small scale farmer outgrower scheme with the United Nations\xc2’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) assistance for capacity building courses;
Building infrastructure such as roads, factory, school, clinic, staff housing; and,
Analyzing and piloting other crops in an on-farm nursery that may be suitable for production of products for export markets.
F&L promoted the creation of the first and only association of Bio farmers in the country, Agrieco, to improve access to markets, provide capacity building on sustainable agricultural practices, and enhance the supply chain through purchase of raw materials from local farmers. Through Agrieco, F&L may ultimately reach ~1000 independent farming operations and their ~4028 ha of cultivated lands thereby greatly contributing to efforts to reduce poverty and create wellbeing. However, extensive basic cultivation training is required for the independent farmers to produce internationally marketable products.
Name: Cesario Vicente Mendes and Cristóbal Sánchez Fornieles.
Address: Frutas e Legumes Guiné Bissau, En Mansoa (Region de Oio), Sector de Mentem, Km 20.
ACCOUNTABILITY MECHANISM OF IFC
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