Sierra Tropical Ltd started its pineapple production in Sumbuya in the Bo district in southern Sierra Leone. According to company director Patrick Blake, the company currently cultivates 300 of the 4,335 hectares already leased to produce 200,000 tonnes of pineapple juice per year and employs 1,250 people from eleven Lugbu chiefdom communities, according to Politico Online . A production that will be exported.
Patrick Blacke clarified that to avoid disagreements and conflicts with communities, his company has engaged landowners on their goals before they start mining. Some, he said, have agreed to cede their land at an agreed term, while others have refused and so they only work with those who are willing to cede their land to them. He assured that they would continue to respect the agreement with the families of landowners to ensure a peaceful relationship. In addition, the company has put in place an action plan for community development (CDAP) and hired the Environmental Protection Agency to guide their operations.
In 2019, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), a member of the World Bank Group, issued $ 36 million in guarantees for the design, construction, and operation of Sierra Tropical. The Agency provides protection against expropriation and breach of contract for up to 10 years to Dole Asia Holdings, a subsidiary of Itochu Corporation, for its investments in Sierra Tropical Limited. Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI), the Japanese export credit agency, reinsure part of MIGA’s exposure, in addition to providing its own insurance to Dole International Holdings, Inc. This is the NEXI’s first reinsurance agreement in Africa with MIGA, following an MOU signed between the two institutions in May 2018