The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), Turkey's leading aid provider, is lending a hand to Guineans in improving their production of pineapples, a main source of income for farmers in the West African nation.
In rural areas of Kindia, the country's fourth-largest city, the agency has cleared 100 hectares of land for pineapple cultivation. Kindia is Guinea's food hub and the main supplier of agricultural produce from pineapples to mangoes, palm oil, corn, coffee and cashews. Some fertile and flat lands have little agricultural growth as farmers tend to use traditional methods. Fertile lands covered with bushes are often cleared manually, a very difficult and time-consuming task for the rural community that relies on pineapple farming.
Pineapple production is made in an area of 650 hectares in Guinea and 35 tons of pineapples are grown per hectare. Some 40% of produce is exported to meet the huge demand for the delicious fruit but farmers find it very challenging to keep up, especially with uncleared fertile lands.
Clearing 100 hectares means a 20% increase in pineapple cultivation and Turkey seeks to contribute to President Alpha Conde's ambitious plan to expand arable areas to 1,000 hectares by the end of 2020. The agency's work to contribute to the agricultural activities has drawn praise from Guineans.
Camara Moussa, the president of smallholder association of pineapple growers FEPAF-BG, told dailysabah.com that Turkey "brought prosperity to our lands."