Members of the Adeiso Pineapple Growers Association (APGA), in the Upper West Akim district of the Eastern Region, have petitioned the government to establish pineapple breeding sites for smallholder farmers in the area.
This, they say, will address the challenges confronting the farmers by way of engendering a greater rate of return on pineapple farming, thus reducing poverty and increasing government’s revenue.
According to the petition, the absence of a policy on pineapple sucker breeding sites for smallholder farmers has impeded high productivity of quality pineapples by farmers at the Adeiso enclave over the years.
“We the farmers have depended upon chance sucker selections, which most often results in low-yield, diseased fruits, which are rejected in the global markets and by domestic factories in the enclave. The farmers have been incurring losses as a result of planting poor quality suckers seasonnally, adversely affecting the cultivation of pineapples as a business,” it said.
Among their numerous challenges is access to suckers at their convenience as the suckers from factories are available only to the outgrowers of the said factories.
In view of the aforementioned, the association has appealed to the relevant stakeholders to design and create the framework for the establishment of pineapple MD2 sucker breeding sites at the Adeiso enclave.
They believe this will ensure all-year-round production of quality MD2 pineapple suckers, with relevant programmes for the private sector using the certified outgrower schemes.
The MD2 is a variety now preferred in Europe. It was developed by Costa Rica.
APGA has also made an appeal to the National Seed Council to augment creation of awareness about the availability of quality planting materials.
In addition, the association has called on the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to undertake assessments of planting materials to ensure the security of pineapple planting materials in the event of disaster and crisis.
Source: Daily Statesman