Pineapple prices soar

DAR ES SALAAM: Pineapple prices have almost gone up twice as off-season supply is low compared to demand.

The fruit season is between October and May when the availability is plenty to crush down demand and lower prices.

The ‘Daily News’ spot survey showed that the wholesale price of pineapple, depending on the size, went up to around 1,000/- from 500/- for small sizes while medium to 1,500/- from 1,000/- and slightly larger to 2,000/- from1,500/-.

Mabibo’s market trader Hamza Kivulugo said the fruit is available thanks to ‘mpigo’ pineapple variety which is planted off-season.

“The business is still tough despite having some off-season pineapple. Price is putting at bay customers…but at least we have the fruit around the year,” Mr Kivulugo told the ‘Daily News.’

The trader who is doing wholesale also said coming next month the business will flourish as the season starts and seems like customers are accustomed to consuming pineapple toward the end of the year—the December fruit.

The Mabibo market in Ubungo District, according to traders’ statistics, currently receives around four trucks with a capacity of carrying 20 tonnes a day down from 10 trucks during high season.

Mabibo market is the largest market for pineapples in Da es Salaam and receives supply mainly from Kiwangwa in Bagamoyo where most offseason pineapples ‘mpigo’ are grown.

Data showed that the country’s pineapple production is expected to reach 549,000 tonnes by 2026 which is a 2.2 per cent year-on-year growth since 1966.

In the country, pineapple grows well in the sandy soils of the coast, especially in Bagamoyo in the Coast region, though there are large-scale farms, many of its growers are smallholders.

A retail trader at Temeke market Mr Francis Emmanuel said the cold season also put off customers as in the hot season many consume pineapple to quench their thirsty.

“The price plus cold season complicate the business further,” Mr Emmanuel said while waiting for customers at his stall.

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