Start of the season for Bio Mangos from Senegal

The first Senegalese Mangos of this year arrived at BioTropic at the beginning of July. The 'Kent' mangos were cultivated and harvested by smallholders of the 'Buur Sine' cooperative. The tree is not picked all at once and so enables fresh mango deliveries until around the end of August, perhaps even a month longer, if they have to wait for the rainy season. Too much moisture would certainly be bad - it facilitates the formation of plant diseases.

Mangos are the main source of income for 71 smallholders of Buur Sinne. Everyone owns a clear area of 1 ha to 3 ha. The trees are well adapted to the humid West African coastal climate and the sandy soil. In addition to the harvests, social projects are frequently running, which are driven forth by the cooperative's chairman Amacodou Diouf. Diouf, who has lived in Germany for years, has a keen mind and is sure that investments in the country are worthwhile and people with good ideas can make a difference. There are already aid programmes for schools, hospitals and a women's group running in the country.

The cooperative will have to, however, let the Fairtrade certification that was started four years ago, expire. The sales market for it was simply too small, the costs and paper usage for the certification relatively high. The fixed quantities and minimum prices of BioTropic, which are in fact higher than the Fairtrade standard, remain in place. Even before this year's season is over, Kuemkwong Siemfo, our Head of African Department will again travel to Senegal, in order to discuss the next mango season with the cooperative's chairman, Amacodou Diouf. We will be reporting about that.

Amacodou Diouf remains busy: This year he wants to obtain transport busses, with which the smallholders could drive goods and guests to the markets in the capital Dakar, for a small fee. The cooperative would therefore also be employed outside of the mango season.

Tags: Amacodou Diouf (GB), Buur Sine (GB), Kuemkwong Siemefo (GB), Mangos (GB), Senegal (GB)

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