The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has invested three million Euros in Frutas & Legumes, a vertically integrated producer and exporter of cashew nuts and mangoes in Guinea-Bissau.
Established in 2014 by Spanish families, the company is Guinea-Bissau’s first organic or bio certified cashew and fruit exporter, in the country where the cashew sector contributes 90 percent to its export revenues.
Cashews are cultivated by 55 percent of Guinea-Bissau’s rural households and accounts for more than half their income.
“IFC’s investment will allow us to expand and diversify our organic products to become more competitive on export markets. It also opens up new horizons for the farmers from whom we source around half of our produce,” said Cristóbal Sánchez Fornieles, founder and shareholder of Frutas & Legumes.
The company will use the funding to expand its production of organic fruits and vegetables to export to European markets.
It will also enable Frutas & Legumes it sourced from additional small-scale farmers to complement what it produces from its own farms and to build its agro-processing infrastructure.
Faheen Allibhoy, IFC’s Country Manager for Guinea Bissau noted that the investment would boost the local production of fruits and diversify the country’s agricultural base while benefitting the entire value chain.
Part of the financing will be provided through the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program whose donor partners include the governments of Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, the U.K. and the U.S.
IFC expects the investment, its first agriculture investment in Guinea Bissau in 20 years, to attract more investment into the country, improve basic services and create jobs and markets.