Dole Asia and its parent company Japan’s ITOCHU Corp have partnered with the International Finance Corporation to invest $40m in a pineapple farm and processing plant in Sierra Leone. The company has concluded a Memorandum of Understanding with the Sierra Leonean government to launch the venture.
The project involves the development of a greenfield agroindustrial operation that will cultivate, harvest and process pineapple for export. It was first announced almost a year ago, but has been subject to a detailed impact assessment.
The investment will come through local subsidiary Sierra Tropical Ltd and is expected to create around 3,000 jobs. Sierra Tropical acquired 574 hectares of land from landowners in the Lugbu chiefdom in the Bo district, in the south of the country. Over the first three years of the project this will increase to a total of 4,335 hectares of land where the pineapple and other tropical fruits plantation, cannery and processing facilities will be established
ITOCHU acquired the US-based Dole Food Company in 2012 for $1.685bn. Dole was founded in 1851 and produces packaged fruits and vegetables in over 90 countries globally, including North America, South America, Asia and Europe.