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At the moment, The Gambia imports pineapples from Senegal, Guinea Conakry and Cote d’Ivoire, but if everything goes well as planned, this may soon be a thing of the past or the dependence on this imported fruit would reduced drastically.
Under “The Gambia Fruit Test Planting Project,” the Gambia National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) horticultural fruit pioneer project on Monday 3rd December harvested the first ever batch of Gambian-produced pineapples in Banjulinding.
The land area of the NARI fruit experimental field in Banjulinding is about 1225 meters square, and it accommodated three varieties of pineapple from Taiwan namely, Tainung number 17, Tainung number 20 and Tainung number 3.
These pineapples were planted since 26th July 2011 and through the growing process of 1 year and 4 months, the pineapple project has been finally successfully completed producing varieties of sweet and succulent pineapples.
The historic harvest was witnessed by the Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Samuel Chen and the Director General of NARI, Dr. Babou Jobe.
The ambasaador and the head of NARI also discussed extension ideas for the project in the future.
The Taiwan Technical Mission (TTM) is the cooperation agency that is working with NARI on this project, and in the next phase NARI will extend the project to the regional agricultural stations of Sapu (CRR), Giroba Kunda (Basse) and Chamen (NBR).
It is estimated that in about one and a half years time, the Gambian pineapple can be harvested in some regions of the country.