In a victory for more than 200 smallholder growers, Westfalia Fruit is celebrating a bountiful 2020 litchi season in Mozambique.
The returns from the 2020 bumper crop are uplifting a community of small-scale farmers in Manica Province, who, with the help of Westfalia over the past five years, have secured market access to Europe, GlobalGAP status, and a World Bank grant to boost productivity.
Chief executive of Westfalia Fruit Africa, Zac Bard, said, "We are thrilled with the success of the project and the positive effect it has had on the local community. We look forward to seeing the area transform into the fruit basket of Mozambique."
Westfalia started working with litchi growers in Manica in 2014 after setting up an avocado-growing project in the country.
The Manica Litchi Growers Association (MLGA) was formed in 2016, and Westfalia was able to facilitate the marketing and export of the litchis to Europe, to complement the Madagascan litchi season, with high-quality, fully certified fruit.
Based on the initial success, growers in Manica increased their plantings, and Westfalia initiated training programmes that enabled growers to achieve GlobalGap and GRASP status.
Most recently, the World Bank awarded a grant to Westfalia to provide growers with microjet irrigation systems that will improve the size of the fruit and raise the potential to fetch premium prices.
This fund also covers a roll-over fertiliser programme and a litchi preservation non-sulphur machine for the packhouse.
Westfalia Fruto Moçambique general manager, Mike Jahme, said, "The effect of the successful litchi project is evident in the area, and we see the lives of smallholders changing completely.
"Growers are expanding, and today some of the growers are seen as commercial farmers. It is extremely rewarding to see such development in such a remote part of the world."
For more information, visit www.westfaliafruit.com.
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