During the Macfruit showcase in Accra, the president Renzo Piraccini visited some local fruit and vegetable companies. The Sam Valley Farms business is part of the Trasacco group (owned by the Italian family Taricone). It occupies 800 hectares, 300 of which are pineapple crops.
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The manager of the company is Guillermo Torres. He comes from Costa Rica and he has a great experience of pineapple farming.
Piraccini, “According to the managers Ernest Taricone and Dimitri de Pues, the company produces 16.000 tons of MD2 pineapples per year. The variety has a yellow pulp and it is exported in Europe, North Africa and Middle-East.
The company has 250 labourers. Their monthly salary varies from 100 to 300 dollars, depending on their level of specialisation. A pineapple implant lasts 2 and a half years and a plant can produce two fruits. Afterwards, the implant is substituted with another one.
The whole company uses a drip irrigation system. The water comes from an artificial lake built from a dyke on the river. Additionally, the pumping system provides fertigation.
There are 65.000 plants per hectare, for an average yearly production of 90.000 tons. The goal is to produce 110.000 tons per hectare like in Costa Rica. The fruit weights 1.7 kg on average, but the size can vary from 1 to 2.5 kg.
The produce that is not suitable for the export - roughly 20 tons weekly - is sent to a processing factory in order to make the juice. The average price for a 12 kg box is 5.80 US dollars, at the Accra harbour.
The packaging warehouse is of 500 sqm and 35-40 people work in there. The pineapples are sanitised by immersion in chlorinated water. Thus, they are cleaned and weighted with a Maf-Roda line.
After that, they undergo a vegetal and fungicide wax treatment. Eventually, they are packaged in telescopic or single-layered boxes ready to be shipped to the various destinations. As of the end of October, the company was mainly exporting to the Persian Gulf area.
Every week, we process 5-10 fridge containers and we do many air shipments. Depending on the period and the fridge containers availability, they cost 2.500-4.000 US dollars each.