Fatou Titine Cissoko holds a degree in accounting and business management and is a specialist in the agri-food processing of fruit and vegetables. She is a trainer and provides advisory support in agrifood processing to women’s organisations, agricultural businesses and prefectural agricultural services in the Kindia region of the Republic of Guinea. She also ensures the administrative management of farms in this region. Fatou experiments with and popularises fruit drying technologies (such as chimney and forced convection solar powered dryers) in collaboration with the University of California Davis (UC DAVIS) and the Winrock International Organisation through the project SMARTE (Strengthening Market-Led Agricultural Research, Technology and Education).

In 2020, Fatou was elected President of the Cooperative of Actors for the Agricultural Agro-industrial and Artisanal Development of Kindia. She mentors and coaches rural women entrepreneurs working in all links of the agricultural value chain. She participates in all consultations for the structuring and promotion of the pineapple and mango sectors at national and international levels to support the development of the agricultural sector.

Fatou was rewarded for her accomplishments in 2020 during the first Agrobusiness Prize of Social Entrepreneurship Program of SADEN (Salon Des Entrepreneurs De Guinée) and in 2022 with the prize for Best Female Hope and the Best Rural Investment by Gnouma Magazine.

In March 2023, Fatou was also elected National President of the Interprofession de la Filière Mangue de Guinée (Interprofession of the Mango Sector of Guinea), an umbrella organisation of actors that brings together producers, processors and traders operating in the mango sector in Guinea.

Fatou Titine, Cissoko

CEO, Entreprise Fatou & Kadija

Business Location: Kindia, Guinea

Type: Limited Liability Company
Year of Founding: 2014
Number of Employees: 10, all of whom are women
CEO: Fatou Titine Cissoko

Mission: To actively contribute to economic and social development through the processing of agricultural products and the creation of decent jobs

Vision: To be a leader in the agrifood industry of West Africa through the Jedengui product brand

Business Model

In 2014, Fatou created EFK to reduce post-harvest losses (particularly of fruit) and to add value to products in the agricultural sector in Guinea. The company is located in the town of Kindia, in a rural region of Guinea which has a strong agricultural, fruit and market gardening tradition. While working for the family farm, Fatou noticed that local producers in the region face significant post-harvest losses, estimated at more than 40% of total fruit production. Her knowledge and experience as a business manager from a farming family has enabled her to develop a successful agri-food processing business specialising in the drying of exotic Guinean produce.

The main activity of EFK is the production of dried fruits made from the best raw materials according to a drying process adapted to each fruit and the season. The high quality packaging of the products reflects the quality of their content, and the products are marketed under the Jedengui brand (Jedengui stands for Jardin EDEN de GUInée).

EFK contributes to the development of the agri-food sector in Guinea by promoting local and healthy products sold on local and international markets.

Relationship with Smallholders

EFK works closely with its farmers, sourcing from more than 70 small producers. A relationship of trust has been developed between EFK and its suppliers, as the company buys (surplus) production from local producers which improves their income and reduces their post-harvest losses.

The company supported the creation of cooperatives of women producers and initiated the group purchase of surplus production from members of the Federation of Planters of the Fruit Sector of Lower Guinea (FEPAF-BG). It also supports and advises farmers in the area for the marketing of their fruit, and offers training to young people and women in rural areas.

Products and Markets

The Jedengui product range includes 100% natural products, without additives or preservatives. These include:

  • Dried fruits : pineapple, mango, ginger
  • Natural fruit juices : pineapple, mango

    Jedengui dried pineapples are made from the Baronne de Guinée variety, a high quality pineapple specific to Guinea. The Guinean mango is the main ingredient in Jedengui’s dried mango.

    EFK supplies its products to national and continental markets. 93% of the company’s sales are in Guinea, supplying hotels and restaurants, supermarkets and gas station shops. Senegal represents 5% of sales, while Mali and Morocco each represent 1% of sales.

    Jedengui products are produced under the best phytosanitary conditions. The processing unit is in the process of HACCP certification and very soon will undergo the process for ISO 22000 certification.

    Innovations: Milestones and Expansion Plans

    EFK’s production equipment includes a semi-industrial drying unit, an artisanal drying unit and an artisanal bottled juice production unit.
    A semi-automatic boxed juice production line is being installed in 2023.

    For 2023-2025, EFK aims to produce 5 to 10 tonnes of dried fruit and 25,000 litres of fruit juice per year and to export at least 40% of its dried fruit to the African continent and to Europe. The company is currently limited by its low production capacity which does not allow it to supply larger markets. EFK must also set up quality control and obtain certifications to export its dried fruit. EFK faces difficulties in accessing quality packaging at an affordable price and financial support from funding institutions.

    Success Factors and Lessons Learned

    EFK contributes to the socio-economic development of the Kindia region by adding value and promoting local agricultural products processed in Guinea. Thanks to this valorisation, EFK helps to reduce post-harvest losses by guaranteeing a constant market for pineapple, mango and ginger producers in its region. The company also creates jobs for young people and women in order to integrate them into the agro-industry in Guinea and contribute to their development. The company aims to employ more youth as it grows. The company’s efforts to improve local production and inclusion aim to reduce rural exodus by 10% in the communities it serves by strengthening and improving local human resources.

    EFK owes its success to the strong relationships established with its growers and employees who are motivated to consistently produce good quality products. The company also offers healthy and easy-to-consume snacks that contribute to a nutritious diet.

    EFK is a member of the Interprofession of the Mango Sector of Guinea and also of the Federation of Fruit Planters of Lower Guinea. It works closely with several institutions including the World Bank, Enabel (Belgian Development Agency), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), WINROCK INTERNATIONAL, UNCDF, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the International Trade Center (ITC) and financial and microcredit institutions. Its technical partners have contributed to the training of its staff and the development of management tools.

    The company also participates in fairs and trade shows to develop new national and international markets and thus increase its market share.

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