Arable Crops

Growing in demand crops to tackle food security concerns in West Africa

BACKGROUND

Guinea imports 300,000 tonnes of rice per annum. Rice is the most popular staple throughout West Africa. In the colonial era, Guinea was a major rice exporter. The agro-climatic conditions are ideal for its cultivation. Subsistence farming produces woefully low yields. Using limited mechanization but high yielding clones, and suitable chemical applications, yields can be massively improved even under rainfed conditions.

Guinea also imports 400,000 tonnes of maize and tens of thousands of liters of cooking oil. Process the soybeans to produce oil and soybean cake for use as animal feed is more sustainable. than exporting them unprocessed.

THE PROJECT

70,000Ha project in Guinea to grow rice, soy and maize. Paddy will be cultivated using modern Indian methods. Soy/maize will be grown using modern South American methods. Land has been secured under rolling 20-year leases with rental payments taking the form of a land development programme, large scale outgrower scheme and free/subsidized inputs

Complimentary agro-processing facilities accompany large scale production-rice mills and a soybean processing plant powered by biomass plants. All products will be sold into the domestic market or sold to neighbouring West African countries (e.g. cattle feed to Senegal).

DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES

A land development programme will ensure additional land is prepared for smallholder farming (14,000Ha). Mechanisation will be provided to clear and prepare the land. Good quality seeds will be provided for free. Credit lines will be provided for other inputs. Crops will be purchased at a pre-agreed price.

At maturity, the project creates 10s of 1000s of jobs. A widespread agricultural education programme is being run by one of India's leading agricultural universities. Other outcomes include primary education facilities and health clinics. Agricultural infrastructure like irrigation, roads, farm compounds, machine repair workshops will create agricultural hubs.