Farm families in Uganda are being trained to go organic, in a bid to boost their incomes from the production of pineapples on their small-farms.
An exclusively ‘small-holder crop’ in the East African country, there is huge potential for pineapple production in the country, as both the soil and climatic conditions are favourable to growing the edible, tropical fruit.
Close to 300 rural families in the Mubende District of Central Uganda are being assisted by Self Help Africa with production and marketing, and encouraged to apply organic farming techniques so that they can receive a higher price for their fruit.
The farmers, organised into six producer groups, have been linked with a Kampala-based fruit exporter and processor, who is selling both fresh and dried fruit to domestic markets, and for export to Kenya, South Sudan, the Middle East and Germany.
Growers are currently paid between 25 cents and 40 cents for each pineapple that they grow, but could earn significantly more than that for an entirely organic product.
Buyers of the raw pineapples recently opened discussions with the producer groups, with a view to establishing solar driers for the fruit, as a means of adding value to the fruit that the farmers have to sell.