*** Update 2015: Bio-Exotica is currently not producing organic pineapple anymore ***
Hi, I'm Kwame Yeboah-Afari and I grow organic & fairtrade pineapples for Nature & More in Ghana. Thank you for buying our fruit, I hope you'll enjoy it!
Our farm, operating under the trademark name BioExotica, is located on a peninsula on the southern shore of Lake Volta in Ghana. Lakeside Farm was started in 2005. The soils had been fallow for many years and proved to be very fertile. Together with ample water for irrigation from the nearby lake, the conditions for organic pineapple production are excellent. Although there was no electricity, no schools and only very primitive roads, the management felt confident that the lack of infrastructure could be overcome to successfully export organic pineapples, since the international port of Tema was only 95 km away.
The farm comprises 200 hectares of which about 100 are cultivated with the majority planted with pineapples. Non-productive areas are planted with green manure crops to continually regenerate the soil. Fields were created by leaving old established trees in place. Other native trees were planted around the field boundaries to create buffer zones and to provide shelter for the workers from wind and sun.
Lake Farm is the biggest employer within a 40-km radius area, providing work for more than 100 people and stable lives for 1,000. Due to good trade relationships, BioExotica is able to pay its workers 25% above the local average. Since the establishment of the farm, the infrastructure has been substantially improved. The local population now has access to electricity, potable water nearby, improved roads, local schools and improved housing. Doctors now visit the area regularly to provide essential medical services.
With increasing demand for its organic pineapple, BioExotica hopes to eventually employ 200 people and make an important contribution in this economically depressed area in south eastern Ghana.