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Selling mangoes means better lives for residents of Casamance, Senegal

CBI, the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries, supports companies in countries including Senegal in a variety of ways. The CBI offered mango company Saveurs du Sud advice on how to draw up an export marketing plan and how to obtain product certification. CBI also provided English lessons and technical assistance such as setting up a website. The company was then put in touch with importers in Europe.

Two family farms in the Senegalese region of Casamance which used to sell home-grown rice for a living have now significantly increased their income and improved their lives by working with Saveurs du Sud, a company supported by the CBI. The families are now successfully growing mangoes which they sell to Saveurs du Sud, providing a steady and higher income which allows the families to lead more comfortable lives.

Senegal CBI expert Souleye Diouf has been following these families for a number of years.

Good money

This partnership is good for the company and for the people of the region. The two families in Casamance are a great example; they used to grow rice on their farms, but this generated little income. Since Saveurs du Sud started participating in the CBI Export Coaching Programme, the company has expanded its export market to include Europe. Business is booming and they need more mangoes for export, which makes this the perfect opportunity for former rice farmers to switch to growing mangoes and increase their income. Everyone benefits.

Sending children to school

This is good news for the whole family, as they now have the money they need to buy enough food and proper clothing. More importantly, they are now able to send their children to school. CBI’s support works like a chain. More export leads to a higher demand for mangoes from local farmers, which in turn leads to better prospects and a higher standard of living for the farmers and their families.

New harbour

In Casamance, a new harbour is now being built (with support from the Dutch government’s ORIO programme). This will make things even better. Mangoes are currently transported by truck to Dakar, the capital of Senegal, which is a very expensive and time-consuming process. The new harbour will allow Saveurs du Sud to use ships to export their products, not only lowering the cost of transport but also ensuring that the mangoes reach the customer in better condition. All these developments will boost the export of mangoes to Europe, meaning a better income for Saveurs du Sud and the families who supply the mangoes.

Woman selling magoes at market in Senegal