West Africa – business with a mission

Improving food safety and security in a sustainable way, so that it has a positive impact on both human health and the environment, is a matter that is close to his heart, says General Manager of Koppert West Africa, Michel Allene.

With its base in the Ivory Coast capital of Abidjan, the latest Koppert subsidiary was launched at the end of last year. 'We chose Ivory Coast because it grows a wide range of crops, and has reached a stage in its infrastructure and technicity that can make it a reference for neighbouring tropical countries such as Ghana, Niger, Togo, Benin, Cameroon and Guinée-Bissau.'

Registration has not been problematic and 18 of Koppert's products are now registered. 'We have good results for trials done on rice, vegetables, and tropical fruit and proved that yields improved, at the same time as controlling diseases with our biological solutions. We will be using these trials to convince farmers about our mission for sustainable agriculture,' Michel added. 'I really like the challenge of this mission. I'm happiest working in the field!'

KWA would also have a base in Senegal from which to develop Koppert's activities in the sub-tropical countries of Mali, Burkina Faso and Mauritania. 'Eventually, we hope to extend our activities to all 14 CEDEAO (Communauté Economique Des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest) countries in this vast region.'

'The region may not always be that stable, but has an annual economic growth rate of 7-10 % and is expected to boom in the near future. The export of tropical fruit is big business here and it is mainly destined for European markets. Growers and the authorities are aware that this fruit has to conform to high standards. Many are ready to make the switch from chemical agents to our products,' Michel observed.

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