PINEAPPLE growers in Igate village, Nzera ward, Geita district have asked the government and private sector to support them with reliable pineapple markets so that they can improve the agriculture activity and participate fully in the country’s economic growth.
They told the ‘Daily News on Saturday’ during an exclusive interview that they were doing everything in their power to improve agriculture in their areas purposely to boost both individual and the country’s economy.
In so doing, some pineapple growers in the village decided to form a group ‘Uwamami Limited’, which among other things is focusing on establishing a wine processing factory. The group has a total of 100 members.
The group Chairman, Mr Deogratias Chomanga, said that so far the group produces pineapple wine by using poor equipments. He said the wine is sold in local bars around the village. According to Mr Chomanga, the government through the District council has been supporting them with trainings and some cash for boosting pineapple farming and developing the wine factory.
“We have received training from Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO) experts on how to manufacture wine. We are not carrying on with this business, because we are looking forward to improve and boost production after getting enough capital,” he said.
However, Mr Chomanga said the business is facing various challenges, including lack of skills, lack of modern equipment (machines) and proper packing materials. “We are collecting bottles from the streets for packing our wine, this is one of the biggest challenges that face our business,” he said.
He said his group has a total of 300 acres of pineapple farms and that each acre produces 12 tonnes of pineapple annually. Earlier, Geita District Executive Director (DED), Mr Ally Kidakwa said Geita produces enough pineapple which could be used in beverage industries.
He said some big investors including Said Salim Bakhresa have been transporting pineapples from the region. He said pineapples are being produced in high quantity in Igate village, Nzera ward, adding that the district council has been doing everything in its capacity to support pineapple farmers to establish a wine production factory in the area.
“We want to support people with packing skills to ensure quality and standards to their products,” he said.