Willamette International – Pineapple Project
Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa located approximately 8 degrees North of the Equator.It is a tropical country with an abundance of natural resources including minerals and precious stones.
In the decade between 1989 and 2001, Sierra Leone was engaged in a civil war that included up to five different rebel factions, each contesting the government’s control of the diamond fields. During this time, much of the nation’s infrastructure, including intellectual capital, was lost either to criminal behavior or to refugees who left and did not return. The war was unique in its level of atrocity, including dismemberment as a means of terror, destruction of any and all government facilities and recruitment of child soldiers.
In 2009, Willamette International conducted a medical clinic in th
Richard Moore is a young man who arrived in Sierra Leone in 2011. He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and has experience in raising chickens in Sierra Leone. He has also begun a pineapple plantation. He markets his product to the local markets and his pineapples to an Italian Juice company located in the area. His company, International Agriculture Consultants, LLC is committed to expanding Agriculture expertise in Sierra Leone. He has employed several young orphans and is teaching them the science of agriculture along with principles of business and personal responsibility. He is also supporting their tuition in pursuit of an agronomy degree at Njala University in Sierra Leone.e former refugee camp of Waterloo. This clinic, headed by a Rotarian, led to a securing a grant (RI 63446) with Rotary International to secure water in the area and distribute it to the community. This project has been underway since 2009 and continues to be developed today. In 2009, a John Deere compact tractor was shipped by container to Sierra Leone. The objective was to assist in the opening of sod for agriculture. Much of the land had been fallow since the commencement of hostilities in 1989, leaving the sod as thick as 18 inches in some parts of the country. Partnerships with local farmers and groups such as Sierra Leone War Widows enabled land to be opened to production once again.
Mr. Moore and his associates with International Agriculture Consultants, (IAC) LLC have begun pineapple operations in Sierra Leone. They are employing modern agriculture techniques including ample preparation of the soil with fertilizers and other biologic agents suitable for the product they are raising. They employ row crop methods to enhance cultivation and drip irrigation systems for water conservation. Based upon their experience to date, they are conservatively anticipating 20% return on investment after overhead expenses including debt service.
Willamette International has entered into an agreement with Mr. Moore and IAC to expand operation by an additional 10 acres in the upcoming growing season. As a part of this agreement, we have agreed to share the tractor maintenance and upkeep to maintain optimal performance. It is our expectation that future contributions from operations will be sown back into this operation to expand pineapple growing operations, up to a potential of a 100 acre operation. The market for this product is the Italian juice company previously mentioned, who is currently importing pineapples from neighboring Ghana.
The current arrangement, detailed in the attachments to this summary incorporate a three year agreement with two harvest cycles per year. Part of the harvest includes pineapple “suckers” which are superfluous plants which can be transplanted into expanding growing areas or sold to other growers.
The principal budget for this operation is $50,000. This will enable opening of 10 acres of land and acquisition of product and materials such as drip irrigations systems, an additional well and purchase of plants to commence growing operations on 10 acres of land. The budget includes expenses necessary to meet accountability requirements as stipulated by Rotary International.
If you have questions about this project, please contact Jerry McIntosh, International Services Committee Chair for the Greater Albany Rotary Club. I can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or on my cell phone at (541) 905-0618.
Thank you for your interest in this very important project.