In November of 2013, hard-working Sierra Leoneans planted the first pineapple suckers in the village of Bauya in Sierra Leone, as part of a new Just Hope venture there to create economic opportunity for the community.
To ensure that these plants made it through an 18-month growing season, dedicated Sierra Leonean workers were diligent caretakers of a venture that has been an education in farming, and one that has represented a great deal of hope for all involved. We honor their commitment, especially given the Ebola epidemic of this very difficult past year.
In late summer of 2015, harvest was underway. We weren’t ultimately able to complete our original plan of a single harvest and sale to a juice processor, but we adjusted, and have been selling the fruit in local fresh markets. The workers carefully harvest the number of plants we expect to be able to sell as they reach the correct stage of ripeness.
Seeing this venture through — from planting the suckers to managing a profitable harvest — is a powerful experience for the workers in Sierra Leone. Seeing the “fruit of their labor” going to market demonstrates that markets for large quantities exist and are accessible, opening their eyes to significant opportunities for their future.