Restoring collection center part of USAID assistance to improve region’s mango quality and exports.
Along West Africa’s mango belt, thousands of farmers in multiple countries are poised to profit from growing regional and global markets. USAID’s West Africa Trade and Investment Hub is helping many of these farmers acquire skills and positioning to capture these opportunities.
In Ghana, the Akorley Packhouse was completed in 2012 with new, donor-funded equipment to serve about 400 commercial mango farmers in and around Somanya and Dodowa. For a variety of reasons, after a year, the facility was no longer operational and farmers were left unable to clean, grade and pack their mangoes for export to the international market. Most sold their mangoes to processors and local traders near Accra for a lower price as the market flooded with mangoes that could have been exported.
In 2015, as part of its support of increased trade in mangoes, the Trade Hub partnered with four local mango producer associations and an investor, Cotton Web Link Portfolio Ltd., to rehabilitate the dormant Akorley Packhouse in time for the harvest. The Trade Hub brought in the original equipment vendor, Frigo Ghana Ltd., to train six machine operators and quality control workers to operate and maintain the equipment.
The restoration of the facility really helped us to market our mangoes. For the first time in a long time, we were able to export mangoes out of this packhouse.
– Davis Narh Korboe, Farmer and Akorley Packhouse Manager
In June, farmers delivered 560 metric tons of mangoes to the fully operational facility, which washed, graded, calibrated, packed, palletized, and pre-cooled the fruit. By ensuring quality and reducing post-harvest losses, Akorley enabled 53 farmers to sell high-quality mangoes to processors in Ghana and to women traders who resell in local markets. Of this number, 42 also exported to Belgium and Lebanon. The season generated $798,806 in revenues and created 26 jobs.
Akorley’s restoration is part of the Trade Hub’s mission to help mango farmers better meet regional and global buyers’ quality requirements. Throughout the 2015 mango season, the Trade Hub trained over 700 farmers and processors in 22 different locations in Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Senegal on best practices for producing, harvesting, and storing mangoes. As a result, over $7 million in sales were generated.