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AFRICABIZ VOL 1 - ISSUE: 43
NOVEMBER 15 - DECEMBER 14, 2002
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Editor: Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum
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A WORD FROM THE EDITOR


Dear visitor and international investor,


We warmly welcome you, if this is your first visit to Africabiz Online - The ultimate newsletter on trading and investing in 49 sub-Saharan African countries. If you are a regular and faithful reader, welcome back.

If you are a regular and faithful reader, welcome back.

- THE COLLAPSE OF IVORY COST / AN EXAMPLE OF DEVASTATING CONSEQUENCES TRIGGERED BY MISLEADING CONCEPTS AND BAD MANAGEMENT

Map redit to BBC News onlineSince September 19, 2002, the political situation - and therefore the state of the economy, worsened in Ivory Coast. Rebels engineered a military upheaval and challenged government troops.

They succeeded in 15-day blitz campaign to split the country (as shown on the map at left side of the page) into two equal and separate territories.

The northern part from the city of Bouake upward under rebels' control. The southern part, downward from the city of Bouake under government's control. Click here for Ivory Coast's Country Briefs.

A cease-fire agreement signed on October 17, 2002 froze the battle lines. Negotiations started on October 30, 2002, under the sponsorship of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), at Lome / Togo, led and supervised by Togo's President / General Eyadema, and attended by Ivory Coast's government representatives and a delegation of the rebels

At the time of posting current issue, on November 15, 2002, no one can predict for sure the outcome - peace agreement and stability or resumption of fighting and chaos.

Indeed, conditions and requests laid down by the rebels i.e. resignation of President Gbagbo, modification of the country's controversial Constitution, which bans some Ivorian citizens from running for presidential position, and the immediate scheduling of a new presidential ballot in advance to the normal deadline of year 2005, are rejected by the government.

On the other side, the demands by the government that rebels unilaterally give up fighting and disarm are categorically rejected by the insurgents. It will be difficult for both parties to reach a compromise.

Furthermore, several murders, in Abidjan, of key opposition's members and sympathizers, the assassination of rebels leaders' relatives, kidnapped by mysterious death squads, are signs that everyone in the government circle and or the rebels' side is not in favor of negotiation.

In addition, taking advantage of the cease-fire, the warring parties are preparing for the "final" show down. They are purchasing gunships / copters, tanks, motor vehicles, weapons against warplanes and ammunitions. All that money squandered into buying military equipment is lost for financing the development of the economy to creating riches for all.

As we all know, nothing in human life happens on the sudden. Diseases, crucial political events, victories in sports competitions, wars, and divorces, etc.; every occurrence under the sun has hidden history and long lasting causes.

The history and hidden causes behind the collapse of Ivory Coast are closely linked to the adoption ten years ago, in 1993, and subsequent implementation of a nationalistic concept named Ivoirité.

That concept denies full citizenship to Ivorian whose parents are not both "pure" Ivorian.

The reckless implementation of the Ivoirité concept, by successive Ivorian governments of Bedie, Guei and Gbagbo, since 1993, led to the harassment of northerners who have to go through all kinds of hurdles and humiliation to get ID cards. Without ID cards they are denied voting rights.

Furthermore they are removed from key positions in the army and the administration. So, what happens when people feel cornered did happened. The northerners Mohammedans took to arms on September 19, 2002, to defend their dignity and own back their citizenship.

The Ivoirité concept is a vivid example of the damage and chaos a badly conceived dogma or strategy can trigger.

The politicians who devised the Ivoirité concept failed to do the right brain storming and thinking. They abandon a winning political strategy established by the founding father, President Houphouet Boigny.

They simply mismanaged the heritage left by Houphouet Boigny. They have not fully analyzed the resulting consequences of their decision in relation with, first, the historyof the country and, second, the social and ethnic composition of its population.

In order to get rid of a political rival, short sighted and power hungry Ivorian politicians just rush to devise the Ivoirité concept, and end up creating a lethal virus, which is now running rampant within the entire population. For years to come, unfortunately for Ivory Coast and West Africa region, finding the antidote won't be an easy task.

Click here to read more about what misleading concepts, mismanagement and lack of imagination can do to prosperous, nevertheless fragile, African countries.

- Contributor's Guidelines are here for review. Your contribution on "How African countries / entrepreneurs could bridge the developing gap" is welcome.

Many thanks for dropping by and see you here on December 15, 2002


Dr. B.M. Quenum

Editor of AFRICABIZ
Contact Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES IN AFRICA


- Several business opportunities with high profit making potential, which are economic catalysts and components to the Strategy for African Countries - here available, have been introduced to you. They are listed in following table.

a- SHEA BUTTER (Issues 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13)
b- BLUE GOLD (Issues 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19)
c- FREEZE-DRIED PAPAIN (Issues 20, 21, 22 and here)
d- KENAF (Issues 23, 24)
e- VEGETABLE OIL (Issues 25, 26, 27 and 28)
f- CEREALS (Issues 30, 31, 32, 33)
g- FRUITS (34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 42)

- TROPICAL FRUITS INDUSTRY AS INCOME BUILDING POWER FOR AN AFRICAN COMMUNITY / PART IX : PINEAPPLE PRODUCTION COST PER HECTARE FOR A MECHANICAL DRIVEN AND IRRIGATED PINEAPPLE PLANTATION

In  last delivery an introduction to the pineapple agribusiness was made. The current issue addresses production cost par hectare.

Pineapple plantation. One row plantation method.Pineapple cultivation's yield and therefore the production cost of one kilogram of pineapple per hectare depends heavily on how the plantation had been taken care of.

Production cost of one kilogram
originated from manual cultivated and rainfed plot is different from a mechanical and irrigated one. Furthermore,  one hectare plot submitted to good fertilization  and efficient pest control gives the highest yield, which can go from 40 metric tons of pineapple fruit to up to 65 metric tons.

Planting is done with suckers / shoots or slips. Drawing below - courtesy of the NationalVarious planting materials location. Agricultural Institute of Guyana - shows the positioning of  various planting materials available on pineapple plant:

-
Ratoon shoots (RS) or suckers are shoots produced from ground level, which when used for planting produce fruit twelve to fourteen months after planting.
.
-
Side shoots (SS) or suckers bear fruit after eighteen to twenty months after planting.

-
Basal suckers - also called Slips (SL) - are located at the base of fruit. They produce fruit fourteen to sixteen months after planting. They are the preferred type of planting materials.

Manual cultivation / furrowing / pest control spraying of a small plot (1 to 5 hectares) could be an advantage to a small producer if hands are available at affordable cost.


For plots starting from 5 hectares it is better to proceed with mechanical cultivation./ furrowing / pest spraying. The initial expenses to purchasing agriculture equipment and laying down an efficient irrigation system  will pay back manifold in higher yield in the range of 40 to 65 metric tons of pineapple fruit per hectare.

I
n current issue we consider a medium size (400 hectares) plantation of pineapple structured into 10 plots of 40 hectares each, with mechanical cultivation / furrowing / pest spraying / irrigation system / plastic laying weed control. Etc. In short a highly technically organized and managed plantation in order to producing top quality pineapple fruit, high yields in the range of 40 to 65 metric tons per hectare on average.

Click here to read pineapple booklet in PDF format

French speaking people may acquire the excellent "Pineapple Producer Work Book" published by "Les Nouvelles Editions Africaines" titled: "La culture de l'ananas d'exportation en Côte d'Ivoire - Manuel du planteur", which provides extensive and documented explanation on how to setup and manage a pineapple agribusiness in Africa..

Click on above image to read an excellent pineapple booklet in PDF format produced by the National Agricultural Institute of Guyana. You may need Acrobat Reader available here. Right click here and choose Save As to download the booklet.

- PRODUCTION COST PER KILOGRAM FOR 400 HECTARES OF PINEAPPLE PLANTATION ORGANIZED INTO 10 PLOTS OF 40 HECTARES

As explained above,  40 hectares are planted each month, to be harvested 14 to 16 months later, in order to having an average production yield of 50 metric tons of pineapple fruit per hectare - under following assumptions in order to reaching
 

- Mechanical clearing, forking, trenches digging, furrowing, pest control spraying. Etc.
- Manual planting, fertilizer spreading,
- Plastic layers weeding and some manual weeding.
- Additional irrigation system to rainfalls 
- Regular utilization of efficient pest control products.
- Manual harvesting. Etc.

Table below lists investment components over one cycle of 14 months production  (for a new entrant producer) from which  the average production cost of one kilogram of fruit per hectare is calculated

PRODUCTION COST IN US$ PER KILOGRAM AND PER HECTARE

Yields - metric tons

40

45

50

55

60

65

PRODUCTION EXPENSES / US$ / hectare

Hands

466

466

466

466

466

466

Planting materials

2,018

2,018

2,018

2,018

2,018

2,018

Fertilizing

1,200

1,200

1,200

1,200

1,200

1,200

Pest control

750

750

750

750

750

750

Other chemicals

150

150

150

150

150

150

Miscellaneous /small equipment

150

150

150

150

150

150

Heavy equipment operation

300

300

300

300

300

300

Supervision

90

90

90

90

90

90

Land charge / hiring

25

25

25

25

25

25

Total production costs off plantation

5,149

5,149

5,149

5,149

5,149

5,149

OTHER COSTS / US$ / hectare

Administration

8

8

8

8

8

8

Contingencies (5% of operational costs)

257

257

257

257

257

257

Amortization

30

30

30

30

30

30

Packing

1,500

1,500

1,500

1,500

1,500

1,500

Interests on operational expenses

771

771

771

771

771

771

Total other costs

2,566

2,566

2,566

2,566

2,566

2,566

Total cost of production (ready for transport to harbor)

7,715

7,715

7,715

7,715

7,715

7,715

Cost of production per Kg (ready for transport to harbor)

.193

.171

.154

.140

.129

.119

As shown in  the last row of above table it is in the best interest of the producer to target the highest possible yield.

This is achieved by a
systematic selection of suckers / slips (the heavier suckers / slips' weight, in the range of 400-500 grams, the best for the size and weight of the fruit); good balancing of suckers / slips population per hectare (from 11,000 for one row planting to up to 66, 000-70,000 plants for multiple row planting); regular and systematic pest control application; additional irrigation if necessary; systematic weeding. Etc. 

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