NPR

Why An Ivy League MBA Went Back To Ghana To Help A Pineapple Farm

Jerry Parkes graduated from Wharton and decided to return to his homeland to put his business acumen to use in the agricultural field.
Workers prepare pineapple seedlings for planting at the Gold Coast Fruits farm in Ghana. Source: Amy Yee for NPR

Jerry Parkes stands in a vast field of spiky leaves and peers at a pineapple that is larger than usual. "Wow, look at the size of this fruit!" he exclaims.

A former London investment banker on a Ghanaian farm seems like a fish out of water. But for Parkes, leaving his finance career was part of a plan to return home and expand agriculture in Africa. Parkes co-founded Injaro, a private equity fund that invests in agricultural businesses in West Africa such as Gold Coast Fruits, this pineapple farm about 30 miles north of Accra.

Did Parkes, 43, know much about pineapples before Injaro invested in Gold Coast Fruits? "I

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