French banana supplier Compagnie Fruitière's president Robert Fabre announced last week that the company intended to develop its production in Côte d'Ivoire, according to a report on Abidjan.net.
"We are currently the biggest producer of bananas and pineapples in Côte d'Ivoire," he said during a meeting with Côte d'Ivoire prime minister Daniel Kablan Duncan. "And we want to increase production further in the coming years, to 500,000 tonnes."
Fabre also discussed Compagnie Fruitière's desire to invest in new production sites in the north of the country, allowing Côte d'Ivoire to become more self-sufficient and rely less on imports of fruit and vegetables from abroad.
The establishment of a 'refrigerated corridor' between the north and south would allow the two ends of the country to receive fresh produce from one another, he said.
Fabre said that aid for the banana sector from the European Union could assist in the completion of such a project.
According to Agence Ecofin, the EU announced in December 2009 that around €190m of aid was earmarked for the banana sectors of 10 ACP countries, including Côte d'Ivoire, Cameroon and Ghana.