Concerns over changeable climatic conditions are very real across West Africa, but pineapple and mango growers say this year’s ample rainfall has been good for yields
The unpredictability of the climate is of increasing concern for growers across Africa, but pineapple and mango producers in West Africa have experienced no such issues this year, according to Samuel Owusu Amankwaa, sales and marketing manager at Ghanaian producer YO Amankwah & Sons.
“Pineapples and mangoes are doing well, as the rains have been good over the past year and this has impacted positively on yields,” he says. “In general, the weather has become very unpredictable and we never know what the future will hold, but this year the rains came at just the right time.”
The company’s mangoes and pineapples are grown in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire and exported under its Fruit Brothers name, and Amankwaa is keen on reaching more European markets.
“Currently we are shipping decent volumes of pineapples to Morocco and sending some small volumes by air to the Middle East,” he says. “For mangoes we are waiting for the minor season to begin later this year.
“We did a good volume of mangoes to the Maldives this year and we see good opportunities in that market. We are still eager to get our fruits to Europe, as pineapples from Ghana have a much better quality and flavour than other countries.”
The company is also increasingly moving into less exotic items including apples and grapes. “We do good volumes of apples from South Africa to Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Togo,” says Amankwaa. “South African apples will be short in supply this season so we are looking for other options from Europe into West African markets later in the year. But we have had a very successful grape season from South Africa and Egypt, and we are currently planning programmes from Italy and Spain and searching for suppliers in Chile and Peru.”