Sao Tome and Principe expects to increase pepper exports

16 October 2009

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 16 Oct – Sao Tome and Principe expects to export 400 tonnes of pepper to the European market as of 2014, Francisco Ramos, an official from the programme for Participative Support for Family Agriculture and Artisanal Fishing said Thursday.

In November just 3 tonnes of pepper are expected to be exported as a time when national production stands at over 20 tonnes and domestic consumption is around 17 tonnes.

France will be the first consumer market for the product produced by the pepper and vanilla export cooperative Bio São Tome e Príncipe, which brings together 10 associations with around 300 pepper producers.

Ramos also said that a deal would be signed between the cooperatives and French spice company On Ter.

He added that within three years, around 125 pepper plants grown on 50 hectares of land, including 5 on the island of Principe, could produce 50 tonnes of pepper.

For 2010-2012, the programme projects to total a plantation area of 160 hectares, with expansion of a further 110 hectares, to ensure production of 400 tonnes of pepper.

The Programme for Participative Support for Family Agriculture and Artisanal Fishing is a project set up by the government to run between 2003 and 2011, with funding of around US$11 million, 70 percent of which is from a loan taken out from the Fund for Investment in Agricultural Development (FIDA). (macauhub)

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