Agroforestry System Designer – HPW Fresh & Dry

Introduction
It started with a simple thought. If a farmer harvests 1’000 organic MD2 pineapples in a month, this should give him about 1’200 kg of pineapple to sell. 1’200 kg of organic pineapple will be bought at our factory for GHS 1’600. Take away transport expenses and you are left with more than GHS 1’300 which corresponds to the USD 235.00 that Fairtrade International has defined as the living wage in Ghana in 2018.

So, in essence with the sale of 1’200 kg of pineapple per month you could generate a living income which is significantly higher than what most farmers in Ghana would earn.

The challenge

Now how can 1’200 kg of pineapple produced without having to spend money on inputs? In an organic production system, with cover crops and with intercropping the necessary nutrients for the production could be mobilised on the land and applied as compost and mulch to the plants. To achieve that the planting density of normally about 50’000 to 60’000 pineapple suckers per ha would need to be reduced to about 1/3. A population of 16’000 to 20’000 plants could give a yield of about 15 t which would again correspond to about 1’200 kg per month.

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For the organic fertilizer production mucuna, cajanus, crotalaria would be intercropped with the pineapple. Planting a few fruit trees and coconut palms for their crops and shade and leaves as well as banana and plantain for their fruits would not harm the system.

Our approach

With this plan in mind we set off to set up test plots and trials to demonstrate the system two years ago. In this time, we have gained much experience, but also suffered setbacks and had to overcome challenges for example with soil fertility or seed availability for cover crops. But still we are not less convinced than two years ago that we will find the solutions to make the system successful.

Your talent

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Currently we are looking for a talent who is ready to take up the challenge and to lead one of our field teams to a successful implementation. For this task a strong conviction of the viability of mixed cropping, much farming knowledge and how to lead people by setting targets, checking achievement and supporting are needed.

If you have what is needed to make this project successful write to us how you would go about the implementation of the mixed copping system.

How To Apply

We are looking forward to your application

Fd.recruitment@hpwag.ch

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Convincing applications will be invited for introduction interviews.

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