Banana Co-op Brought Back To Life By New Roads

 
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The Sathioum Banana Cooperative was founded in 1987 after the construction of the RN6, a local highway in the Casamance Region of Senegal. The cooperative currently has 121 members and are cultivating 15 hectares of bananas, which provide a reliable and profitable income.

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The cooperative is located along one of a number of roads selected by SFL’s to be rehabilitated. In 2016, following our work on the road, they reported a 54% increase in production, and a 67% increase in income from $86,000 (USD) to $51,000. On average, each member saw their income increase from $420 to $710 over the previous year.

In an interview its president, Mr. Sylvain Diatta, attributed the increase in sales to the newly rehabilitated road. He explained that due to the poor condition of the road, buyers had ceased to come to the cooperative. They found that the transportation conditions were not worth the bananas.

Since rehabilitation of the road, buyers have returned. Buyers now come from as far away as Dakar, the Gambia, and Guinea-Bissau to buy Sathioum Banana Cooperative's bananas. Mr. Diatta estimated that the number of large trucks (carrying more than 5 metric tons) had increased from around 40 trucks to more than 100 trucks. That's a lot of bananas!