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Bumper pineapple harvests can help bring in incomes for households and schools; lessons from AEC

Updated on January 4, 2014

Africa Empowerment Communities

Pineapples, work, settled livelihoods and some hiccups!

In 1900s Hawaii was the world's largest producer of sweet pineapples and sugar canes. This also helped provide work for so many Chinese and Filipinos. Companies such as Del Monto up until 2008 managed very large swathes of land planted with pineapples. They employed very many people and whole communities thrived just because of pineapples.Today, Hawaii's pineapple production has dwindled and is not within the top ten of the world's pineapple producers. Worldwide, the top producers are Thailand (13%), the Philippines (11%) and Brazil (10%). Hawaii produces only about two percent of the world's pineapple. Fewer than 1,200 workers are employed by the pineapple industry in Hawaii.

But there are small business farmers in Africa as well as government sponsored Agricultural stations with large pineapple farms. These farms are in many African countries like: Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda.

In Honduras where USAID has provided funds to farmers and enterprises with a goal to increase pineapple production, it has been noted that 60 hectares of pineapples bring in USD 428,000.

In Uganda pineapple growing competes unfavourably with the environment. In many cases wetlands have to be destroyed to give way to pineapple or for any form of farming. According to Sunday Monitor January 5th, "square miles upon square miles of wetlands and natural forest are being cleared for growing pineapples and vegetables in Kyanamukaaka and Kabonera sub-counties and other parts of the Masaka region."

It is not surprising therefore that small scale farming and school gardens, in countries like Uganda where the issues of environment conservation are so close at heart, will be in vogue.

Pineapple in Garden

Green unripe pineapple
Green unripe pineapple

Medicinal uses of pineapples.

Source of Vit. C:

Two slices of pineapple contain approximately 100 mg of Ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Pineapple products are available commercially in powder, liquid, tablet, and capsule dosages.

The active ingredient is bromelain. The recommended dose is 500 mg; manufacturers ssuggest a dose of 500 to 1,000 mg daily.


Precautions:

Contraindications:

Hypersensitivity to any of the components in pineapple. Cross-reaction with honeybee venom, olive tree pollen, celery, cypress pollen, bromelain, and papain have been reported.

Pregnancy/nursing/breastfeeding:

Pineapples eaten in little.

Interactions:

Potentiation of amoxicillin and tetracycline because of increased volume of distribution by bromelain has been documented.

Side Effects:

Most people may bite off the outer cover using the mouth. This may cause sores. The juice from unripe pineapples can cause severe vomiting. Bromelain ingestion is associated with a low incidence of adverse reactions, including diarrhea, excess menstrual flow, nausea,skin rash, and vomiting. Swelling of the mouth and cheeks can result from eating large amounts of the fruit.

Toxicities:

Bromelain has very low toxicity.

Sources:

1. AEC archives

2. Pineapple. Review of Natural Products. Facts & Comparisons 4.0. St. Louis, MO: Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc

Pineapples as Income Generating products

Pineapples are fruits that can be used for: consumption, making of beverages and the husks used for burning or as compost. But do you know these few facts about a pineapple? Yes that spine-having or scaly fruit flower? What? Yes I said it is a flower.

Fact 1. The well-known pineapple fruit is actually a complex flower.

Fact 2. The head that forms around the stem is actually the pineapple.

Fact 3. The pineapple has eyes. Each of the eyes on the surface is the dried base of a small flower.

Fact 4. The pineapple is the only cultivated fruit whose main stem runs completely through it.

Fact 5. The top crown of leaves contains a bud that, when mature, indicates that the fruit is ready for cutting. The blades are not equally held firmly on the crown. The very middle blades are easily pulled out and once that is possible the pineapple is ripe.

Fact 6. The crowns from the top of the fruit are usually used for propagation because pineapples contain no viable seeds.

Fact 7. On occasional, slips from the base of the fruit or suckers are used if planting material.

Fact 8. The plant grows to a height of 1 m.

Fact 9. The first crop is ready for harvesting approximately 18 months after planting.

Fact 10. Pineapple plant uses water very efficiently, pineapple may be grown in areas of relatively low rainfall (50 to 200 cm).

Like many fruits it is a wonder fruit.

4 fruits the size of 1 lb or half a Kg cost about 1 USD.

The Pineapple

The Spanish brought these fruits indigenous to South America to other parts of the world.

The pineapple (Ananas comosus) is a tropical edible fruit plant. Its fruit is consisting of many berries.

Pineapples are consumed fresh, cooked, juiced, and preserved, and are found in a wide array of cuisines. In addition to consumption.

On top of being used to make paper and compost manure, in the Philippines the pineapple's leaves are used to produce the textile fiber piña- employed as a component of wall paper and furnishings.

Your Pineapple Garden to table Practices

1.Prepare your seed bed.

2. Get crown cuttings, but be careful with the spines.

3. Pineapples may be cultivated from a crown cutting of the fruit.

4. Pineapples possibly flower in 20–24 months.

5. Pineapples may come to full fruition in the following six months after planting.

Remember pineapples do not ripen significantly post-harvest. This is the time to make choices for which to sell off or consume earlier.

Income Generating Projects in our schools and communities

One can say or ask, what could be the first 10 points that should motivate schools or communities to have income generating activities?

Well, I may have 10 points here but you could have over 20 off your own cuff.

My 10 points are:

1. Opportunities to invest time in doing another useful activity.

2. Opportunity to get as many people together to work towards addressing all the requirements for getting the right results out a project.

3. This point arises from the first two points. Sharing ideas and owning activities commits people to achieving results

4. Land or other resources are used well and profitably.

5. Skills are shared.

6. Products harvested or produced are sold to get money.

7. Opportunity to get credit and make further investments.

8. Opportunity to generate and synthesize knowledge and practices around better results and subject matter.

9. Opportunity to demonstrate skills outside commonly known patterns of life.

10. Explore multiple and diverse means to make money.

Pineapple

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pineapples on a fruit stand in a town in Africa
Pineapples on a fruit stand in a town in Africa
Pineapples on a fruit stand in a town in Africa

Pine apple Jam

Conclusion:

Africa Empowerment Communities will work hand in hand with schools and communities to engage in pineapple growing practices that at the same time conserve the environment. It is our hoe that students, teachers and household members that we shall work with will translate learned skills into both profits and sustainability.

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      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I like pineapples one of my best fruits sounds a great idea and I learned more here about pineapples.

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