Burkina Faso is one of the world’s poorest countries. It has few educational opportunities and almost no vocational training schemes. More than 80 per cent of the population live and work in rural areas.
However, some agricultural products are successfully sold on international markets. These include mangoes from the city of Bobo-Dioulasso. But competition from other producing countries is tough. This is why many growers’ cooperatives focus on organic farming.
The Swiss firm gebana AG has operated in fair trade for 40 years. Since March 2013 it has been working with cooperatives based around the city of Bobo-Dioulasso on improving the harvest yields and quality of organic mangoes under a development partnership with sequa. In a training room with an adjacent quality laboratory in Bobo-Dioulasso the farmers and employees of processing companies learn how to produce mangoes in accordance with quality, organic and fair trade standards.
To supplement the newly acquired skills, the partnership is improving the technical conditions so that the farmers can produce internationally competitive products. That is why gebana AG also supports research projects and investments along the mango value chain.
Through these measures gebana AG secures a reliable source of dried organic mangoes that are sold on the European market. It provides rising and sustainable incomes for some 600 farmers and employees of the local drying facilities.
‘The solid quality assurance system, which we are also able to set up thanks to the develoPPP.de project with sequa, is key in the growing turnover generated by selling certified mangoes.’
Stefan Lanz, Director of Systems and Projects at gebana AG