Cocoa trader Agriterra has announced that it has expanded its cocoa and farming operations in Sierra Leone.
Through its subsidiary, Tropical Farms, the company has acquired a 50-year lease with a 21-year extension option on 1,208 hectare plantation near Kenema.
The planation previously produced cocoa and coffee and was run by Beresfords prior to Sierra Leone’s civil war between 1991 and 2002.
“A modern nursery is being installed, which will be the largest and most technically advanced current cocoa production facility in Sierra Leone,” said Agriterra in a statement.
The nursery covers 1.6 hectares and has an irrigation system that supports up to 500 hectares worth of seedlings. The nursery covers a green area of 1.6 hectares and has a total size of 1.7 hectares.
Sierra Leone is located near to Ghana and the Ivory Coast, two of the largest cocoa producing nations worldwide. However, the nation produces very little cocoa by comparison and production was devastated by the country’s civil war.
Initiatives are currently underway from NGOs to restore Sierra Leonean cocoa production to pre-war levels of around 25,000 metic tons in the next five years.