Pineapple farming in Nigeria is another investment with viable value chain. Thousands of fruit juices are made with pineapple and the producers and marketers of fruit juice are always on the look out for pineapple farm where they could buy their raw material.
The pineapple (Ananas comosus) is a tropical plant with an edible fruit and the most economically significant plant in the family. The pineapple is indigenous to, where it has been cultivated for many centuries. The introduction of the pineapple to Europe in the 17th century made it a significant cultural icon of luxury. Since the 1820s, pineapple has been commercially grown in greenhouses and many tropical plantations. Further, it is the third most important tropical fruit in world production. In the 20th century, Hawaii was a dominant producer of pineapples, especially for the US; however, by 2016, Costa Rica, Brazil, and the Philippines accounted for nearly one-third of the world’s production of pineapples.
Pineapples grow as a small shrub; the individual flowers of the unpollinated plant fuse to form a multiple fruit. The plant is normally propagated from the offset produced at the top of the fruit, or from a side shoot, and typically mature within a year.
Go to any market popular near you or even the fruit sellers near you and try to price pineapple. Then you will realise that pineapple is edible gold.
One head of pineapple is sold for N200 in the local market while the same head of pineapple goes for N300+ in the fruit shops. For wholesale farmers, they sell for N100-150 per fruit.
A hectare of land can contain up to 5250 suckers under standard spacing which can be a stable source of income (N787,500) for the farmer per production cycle.
Pineapple Farming: How to Plant
Chose A Good Site
First of all, making a good selection of the site to have pineapple planted is usually the paramount thing to do. The site has to be checked for the soil textures because pineapple thrives very well on sandy soil with lots of nutrients, good water retention, coupled with the humid conditions of the chosen field for planting.
Clear The Farmland
The next thing to do is to have the area cleared of stumps and thereafter prepare the land by ploughing or making some raised beds for the planting. Bear in mind also that the crop requires a place where the rainfall is evenly distributed during the early periods of planting, and this is very important to get good yields and sweet produce at the same time.
While preparing the ground for planting, be on the lookout for some possible insect attackers but which is usually handled by overturning the soil and exposing it to sunlight. You can do it manually or mechanically with a tractor to plough and ridge the place because it is not the best to plant on flat ground because of easy penetrations in the ground.
Select The Desired Specie
Some of the most desirable species suitable for commercial pineapple farming are: The Smooth (or Smooth Leaf Cayenne) pineapple; Pure Gold pineapple specie (newly developed); The Gold Crown. Get the pineapple that you will plant. It’s always good to know there are two basic ways to go about pineapple planting, you can either plant the sucker or the crown. What this means is that the pineapple sucker is not the same as the crown.
The sucker is the shoot-out by the side of a pineapple and it takes lesser time to grow than the crown which takes up to a year and two months as against the sucker of about nine months. And getting the sucker is far easier than getting the crown.
Another interesting thing about pineapple is that it could be planted at the backyard if you have enough space there, which even serves as flowers at the same time, but that’s by the way but it goes further to buttress how easy it is to start pineapple farming.
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