New fruit drier to solve farmersí woes
Kirehe – Gahara farmers in Kirehe district have acquired a pineapple drying machine worth over Rwf40 million.
This was said by Father Evalyde Hodari, the special advisor of Pineapple Farmers Cooperative Union, known as Tuzamunirane, during an interview.
Hodari said that the machine would end farmers’ losses, saying that much of the crop perished before reaching the market.
“We worked with our partner to acquire the Rwf40 million machine...50% was paid by our union. We can now buy all farmers produce and export to foreign countries, where we are assured of market,” he said.
Hodari added that farmers should start thinking big, adding that exporting dried pineapple demanded quality assurance.
He called for local authorities to preserve special land for the purpose of growing pineapples alone.
He noted that process to acquire the Good Agriculture Practice (GAP) certificate, to allow Gahara pineapple growers’ access international market was in the pipeline.
“Our farms were mapped out and appear on internet...we follow all good agriculture practices. We are going to compete on international level by packing and selling dried fruits in Europe”.
“We have ready market in Paris (France) for instance, but the fruit must be organic free. We would hit our target if we planted pineapples in gardens that have accommodated fertilizers”.
“Fruit drying is an important development in agriculture. The end result is a fruit that is easy to transport, will not spoil, and needs no refrigeration, yet still retains a distinctly pineapple flavour,” said Nathalie Niyonagira, the district’s agriculture officer she said.
The Mayor, Protais Murayire commended the farmers’ initiative to transform the fruit, adding that they were assured of government’s support.
“Growing pineapples can be a good source of income for every farmer...it is interesting that new entrepreneurs desiring to tap into the potential of the fruit growing industry have come in,” he said.
Contact email: stephen.rwembeho[at]rwembeho.co.rw