Pineapple

INTRODUCTION

The pineapple is native to South America, but it is now widely grown throughout the tropics and in warm locations in the subtropics. The pineapple is a herbaceous perennial which grows to 1.0 to 1.5 meters (3.3 to 4.9 ft) tall, although sometimes it can be taller. In appearance, the plant itself has a short, stocky stem with tough, waxy leaves. When creating its fruit, it usually produces up to 200 flowers, although some large-fruited cultivars can exceed this. Once it flowers, the individual fruits of the flowers join together to create what is commonly referred to as a pineapple. Portuguese traders are said to have introduced pineapple into the east and west coasts of Africa.  Pineapple is grown for its fruit that is eaten fresh, as dessert, in salads; processed into juice, jam, dried fruits and flavours.

PRODUCTION

Varieties Smooth cayenne
Seed Rate 45,000 – 50,000 plants/ha
Fertilizer Rate 600kg/ha NPKTop-dress with of 500kg SA 6 month after planting then 6 month before harvesting than 6 month
Planting Spacing Double row spacing 60cmx90cmx30cm and plant population of 45,000 – 50,000 plants/ha
Husbandry Commercial propagation of pineapple is not through seeds but by vegetative propagation. Perennial weeds should be cleared by repeated deep cultivations during the dry season. Nitrogen is essential to increase fruit size and total yield. Use of black polythene (150 gauge) is recommended for mulching as it helps maintain high soil temperature, retain moisture and controls weeds.  Once the fruit has been harvested, remove all slips and leave generally only 1 (maximum 2) strong and healthy sucker arising from ground level. The yields of ratoon crops are much lower than of the planted crop.
Pest & Diseases Pest Name Symptoms Control
Pineapple mealy bug The affected become discolored bronze to red with reflexed margin and backward associated with pineapple disease Dip plantings in Diazinon or Fenitrothion spray with the above chemical as soon as wilt appears
Expected Duration from Planting to Harvesting 15-20 months
Climatic Conditions Pineapple is grown successfully in tropical lowlands and in the subtropics, in areas where the climate is warm, humid and free from extreme temperatures. A temperature range of 18 to 45°C is favourable and a rainfall ranging from 650 to 3,800 mm. Pineapples cannot stand waterlogging. Grow well from sea level up to 2000 m. The best soil for pineapple culture is a well-drained, sandy loam with a high content of organic matter and optimum pH of 4-5.
Harvesting The fruits are ready to harvest when they snap off at the bending of the fruit. Fresh fruits destined for the local market are plucked when almost ripe. Fresh pineapples destined for export are harvested green-ripe (beginning to turn yellow-green at the base of the fruit). They are cut off with a sharp knife leaving a stem which is later trimmed to 3.4 cm.
Post Harvest and Storage Fruits can then be cool-stored for up to four weeks (storage temperature about 7°C). Care is taken to prevent bruising.
Growing Regions Thika, Malindi and Kisii.
Expected yields Up to 100 ton/ha per year (50,000 pieces)

PROCESSING

Processing Dried and Canned into Slices or Spirals. Also pressed and processed into Juice and Jam and flavours.

MARKETING

Place Marketed locally and Exported
Price Kshs 60 – 80 per Piece

CONSUMPTION

Products and Use Eaten Raw, Juice, Jam, Pineaple Canned Slices & Spirals, Extracts and Flavors, Pineapple wine or vinegar. By products are cattle feed and fibre for weaving cloths.
Nutritional value – per 100 g / % Daily Values The fruit has high sugar content and is rich in vitamins A and C.

FACTS & FIGURES

Certain bat-pollinated wild pineapples only open their flowers at night.Thailand is the leading world producer of pinapples.

BUSINESS CASE

Income Per Hectare: Kshs 3,000,000 (50,000 pieces * 60/-)Cost per Hectare: Kshs. 1,200,000 (40% of Income)NET:    Kshs. 1,800,000 (60% of Income)

Break Even Yield (Where Cost=Income): = 20,000 pieces per hectare

Income Frequency: In two years.