How to create an unending wealth from pineapple cultivation

My name is Okekunle Akintunde the president of The First Massive Achievers Limited, Nigeria (an empowerment platform) am also a master trainer for the National Directorate of Employment.

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We are into training of pineapple farmers and commercial production of pineapples in Nigeria with over 200,000 acres of pineapple under cultivation in various communities in Ogun State, Nigeria. First Massive Achievers Limited Nigeria is a fully registered Agricbusiness company by the Corporate Affairs Commission Nigeria and also certified by the Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.

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One of pineapple plantation

Have you been farming without no result or with just little yield. You have spent thousand and millions of hard earn money on farming but you are yet to enjoy the fruit of your labour.
Am happy to tell you that pineapple cultivation is a proven method that will earn you millions of naira annually and within years you will recover all you have lost. Pineapple farming works for me the first time I tried it and am sure it will work for you as well.


Brief history of Pineapple


Nigeria is the largest producer of Pineapple in Africa and the 7th largest in the world, with Costa Rica, Brazil, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and India being first six. Pineapple farming is indeed a great goldmine in Nigeria as the fruit can be processed into Jams, syrups, dried fruit chips, e.t.c which can be used locally or exported.
Nigeria is number one(1) ideal country for the production of pineapple due to the favorable weather conditions and large market for the fruit as well as its processed products. Nigeria has a huge and untapped market potential in the sale and use of processed pineapple products as we are currently importing sweeteners.

Anyone can invest into production of pineapples for export, pineapple processing, etc. Our Pineapple fruit is smooth cayenne variety and it is highly suitable for making fruit juices, jams, and dried fruit chips.
If you are thinking of a profitable farming business to start in the country, then think no more, pineapple is the current money spinner.Pineapple is known for its nutritional and health values all over the world. So the business aspects of planting it is lucrative. Nigerian soil and weather are extremely good for pineapple farming too.
Pineapple growers do not only make money from the sales of pineapple fruits but also sell suckers to other intending growers. Hence, pineapple is the current money spinner as far as farming enterprise is concerned today. If you are thinking of a profitable farming business to start in the country, i will encourage you to invest in pineapple farming.
In the past, so many people have been discouraged about pineapple farming due to its longer time of fruiting (2years) and its inability to bear fruit, ripe, harvest and sell the whole farm at the same time. However, recent discoveries from research had alleviated these challenges. Pineapple can now be planted to bear fruit, ripe, harvest and sold at the same time within a period of 14 months and the next harvest will be between 6 – 8 months annually.

However, pineapple farming is not a quick money making farm enterprise as compared to annual crops such as maize, cow pea, cucumber, water melon etc but it is a sure way of making sustainable income over time after it is initially established. If properly monitored and taken serious, it is a business that offers a year round perpetual stable financial life.
Pineapple is in high demand for local consumption, industrial use for the manufacturing of fruit juice and also as export commodity to countries like USA, Canada, and Europe etc. With latest scientific multiplication discoveries called cyclic multiplication method which has increased farmers yield ten fold over the years. You can actually plant, cause the whole farm to bear fruit at same time ripen at same time and you also harvest and sell the whole farm in one day.
Pineapple farming in Nigeria is another money spinner. Thousands of fruit juices are made with pineapple and the makers of fruit juice are always on the look out for pineapple farm where they could buy their raw material.

One pineapple is sold for N400 (smooth cayenne) in the local market while the same pineapple goes for N500+ in the fruit shops. For wholesale farmers, they sell for N200 – N250. Lets assume you harvested 25,000 pineapple on an acre and decided to sell for just N150 for wholesale buyers, you will make N3, 250,000 million. Take away N2.65million as cost of purchase of land, production, labour, and transportation, you will have N600,000 as pure profit for the first harvest and N3,250,000 for the next 15years excluding weed control. And once they starts producing, they can fruit for the next 15 – 20 years depending on the species if well maintained.

Procedure for Pineapple Cultivation In Nigeria

Site Selection


Firstly, making a good selection of the site to have pineapple planted is usually the most important thing to do. The site has to be checked for the soil textures because pineapple thrives very well on sandy soil with lots of nutrients, good water retention, coupled with the humid conditions of the chosen field for planting.


Land Preparation


Land Preparation should be the next thing to do,cleared of stumps and thereafter prepare the land by ploughing and leave for two weeks to expose insect attackers to sunlight or making some raised beds or ridges for the planting. Bear in mind also that the crop requires a place where the rainfall is evenly distributed during the early periods of planting; and this is very important to get good yields and sweet produce at the same time.
Experiences have shown in recent times that pineapple grows and does well when planted on ridges than on a flat harrowed land. This is due to the fragile nature of the root. So ensure that the land is proper tilled, as well plant pineapples on ridges/beds.

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
Rainfall: 60 cm/year (at regular intervals throughout the growing season).
Propagation: Crown, suckers and slips.
Flowering: Requires cooler temperatures.
SOIL TYPE


Pineapple thrive well on a well drained sandy soil and acidic soil because of the nature of its roots. The roots are extremely fragile and can only grow in a loose and well aerated soil with relatively good water retention. Hence, silty soils and clayey soils are not recommended for growing pineapples. A sandy soil with a PH between 4.5 and 5.5 is most appropriate for growing pineapples.
Incase your farmland has fulfilled the above requirements but it is sloopy, then ensure you plough and ridge across the slope in-order to control erosion.


CLIMATE
Pineapple is mostly planted during the rainy season when there is an even distribution of rainfall during the early periods of planting. Although pineapples are high consumers of water and light but does well under a mild temperature. Hence, ensure to plant pineapple during the rainy season such that there is adequate water for a period of 4 months after planting so that it can grow well and guarantee good yield.

PROPAGATION METHOD
The propagation of pineapple plants is mostly carried out by means of crowns. Seeds are not preferred owing to their slow growth. Other parts of the plant such as ‘slips’ and ‘suckers’ are also used for propagation. While preparing the crown for propagation, its lower leaves are peeled off to expose the ‘root primordia’. Crowns are then planted in a potting soil known as ‘Bromeliad Potting Soil’. Then the plants are grown in pots for few days before moving them in fields.

PINEAPPLE SUCKERS (Hybrid) For Sale @ N100 per sucker (smooth cayenne)*

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pineapple suckers for sale
  • Quality Improved Variety
  • High Yielding: 2kg/fruit‎
  • Maturity: 14 months‎
  • Fruits are also available for sale

Sucker Propagation:
Planting suckers allow fast growth of pineapples in comparison to the traditional method of planting the crown. For this, you need to first identify them and learn to pick them. Suckers are found between leaves of fully-grown pineapple plants. They can be pulled out with the hand; you just have to twist them at their base. It also prevents the plant (sucker) from getting hurt. Rest of the procedure for growing pineapple plants is same as that used in the traditional method.

Slip Propagation:
Slips can be found at the base of pineapple fruits. These are tiny plants not found in all varieties of pineapples. The Smooth Cayenne and Rough Cayenne are commonly used for growing pineapples from slips. You can pull and plant the slips just like suckers. The method used for growing pineapples from slips is same as the traditional one.

Crown Propagation:
It is the most common method of propagation in pineapples. The crown is pulled or cut off from the fruit and kept for rooting for about 3 weeks after which short roots emerge. The crown can then be used for potting in the house or field cultivation.

FIELD CULTIVATION OF PINEAPPLE
Climate and Soil Requirements of Pineapple
The pineapple plants grow well in a temperature ranging from 65 °F to 95 °F. Although it can tolerate cold temperatures for a short period during nights, the growth gets stunted and fruits become acidic when it is exposed to lower temperatures for a longer time. Well-drained and friable soil, rich in organic matter is considered as best for growing pineapples. The pineapple plants grown at high altitudes bear acidic fruits.

PLANTING MATERIALS
It is important to note at this point that the success of pineapple farming is embedded in the means of propagation. Pineapple is usually propagated by sucker, slip and crown. The crown is the most common and traditional method of propagating pineapple. This is the leafy part of a pineapple fruit. Some factors are associated with the use of crown in propagating pineapples which have discouraged some many farmers in venturing into this crop on a commercial level. Among these factors include; longer time to bearing fruits and difficulty in getting them in large quantities. These factors are also peculiar in slip propagation means. Whereas, sucker allows quick growth of pineapple and it is much easier to access.
Hence, use of healthy suckers are recommended for growing pineapples.

CHOICE OF VARIETY
There are a lot of pineapple specie in Nigeria but there is a need to conduct a demand-approach market research in order to determine the specie to grow. The economically viable pineapple species suitable for commercial farming is; The smooth cayenne. It is important to ascertain the kind of variety you want to buy by visiting the farm where the pineapple is grown.

SPACING
Pineapple plants are usually set out in twin/double or triple rows. A spacing of 1m from centre to centre of beds/ridges, rows 60cm apart within beds/ridges and plants 30cm apart within rows is recommended (30 x 60 x 100cm) giving a plant population of 25,000 plants/acre.
Ensure that your suckers are ready like 1week before planting. Peel off the first two-leaf layers of the root base so as to expose the young roots, thereby hastening growth rate. While planting, ensure to plant the suckers at a depth of 10 cm.

Fertilizer Application
Nutrient requirements of the pineapple plant change across different regions. Like any other crops, pineapples too require nitrogen in greater quantities than any other soil nutrient. For acidic soils, the application of magnesium sulfate proves to be beneficial. Chelate is actually a chemical compound in which a metal atom is bound by other atoms. Iron, when applied with nitrogen in a chelated form, increases the crop yield as well as the fruit size.
Pineapple has a high demand for nutrients such as Nitrogen, Potassium and Iron but low requirement for Phosphorus and Calcium. Because of these demands, it is advisable to apply manure or NPK (20:10:10) at two months after planting if the land has a low level of these nutrients but it can be applied at four months if the farmland is rich in these nutrients at the time of planting. Thereafter, apply Urea or manure again at six months to help shift leaf colour towards a darker yellow-green. After eight months, repeat Urea or NPK (20:10:10) fertilizer to produce dark green plants. If the plants does not look yellowish in colour during the first eight months, then application of fertilizer is done only twice.
Organic Nitrogen fertilizer are good and can be applied as foliar sprays at eight months after planting.

Weed Control
For the cultivation of pineapple plant, irrigation is required only in the dry months of summer. Manual weeding is not recommended in pineapple fields, since it proves to be expensive and can also lead to soil erosion. Practice of mulching is the best option for controlling weeds.
It is important to control weeds in pineapple farm during the first four months after planting so as to avoid slow growth of pineapple plants which could arise as a result of competition for space, nutrients and air with the crop. A pre-emergence application of Atrazine @ 4kg a.i/ha is required immediately after planting to block the germination of weed seeds for as long as possible. Thereafter, a tank mixture of Atrazine and diuron can be used subsequently for weed control in pineapple.
Weeding in a pineapple farm is done at least three to four times with a growing season.

IRRIGATION
Pineapple is mostly cultivated under rainfed conditions. However, supplementary irrigation helps to produce good sized fruits in areas having optimum rainfall especially during breaks. It is also very needful the dry summer months both to establish an off-season planting and to maintain its year round production.
In situations of scanty rainfall and hot weather, irrigation should be provided at least once in two weeks. Experiences have shown that absence of water during the dry months of summer reduces the fruit size and quality of pineapple fruits. Pineapple farmers can sink a well on the farm which they would utilize during the dry season.

ARTIFICIAL INDUCEMENT/FLOWERING
Induction of flowering is undertaken to control the time of harvest and maturity in pineapples. Use of chemicals to control the natural and ‘organic’ growth of any plant is artificial and unnatural; however, cultivators tend to practice it to avoid excessive fruit production during peak periods. Earlier, ethylene gas was commonly used to control the fruiting process. Today, hormones such as a-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) are used. When a pineapple plant is 6 months old, it is treated with hormones to induce flowering.
Naturally, flower initiation or process of flowering in Pineapples take place once in a year, at the terminal axis of the stem. This occurs on short, cool days between late December and early February when the plants can sense the increasing day length. In other words, Pineapple starts the process of producing flowers between late December and early February.
The mature plants will naturally initiate flower buds which cannot be seen until the small red bud arises out of the central ring of leaves 8weeks later. It then takes another 3-4months to complete the fillings, maturation and ripening of fruits. This process is required for a naturally fruiting and artificially induced pineapple.
However, in order to suit or meet up projected demands as well as have a constant supply of fresh fruit marketed year round, artificial inducement is recommended.
Artificial inducement is the process of making a mature pineapple plant to differentiate, that is change from the vegetative stage to the reproductive stage of growth.
For the sake of people who do not understand this terms, artificial inducement is the act of forcing a pineapple plant to start producing flower. This is practiced by farmers to avoid excessive fruit production during peak periods and as well as produce fruits during off-season.
A traditional way of inducement is by using calcium carbide (by burning) on the pineapple farm. This method is limited in the sense that, it can not be controlled.
However, today, introduction of hormones such as a-naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) is used to induce pineapple.
Inducement should be done when the plants are 8-9months old.
After Pineapple plants have been induced, the flower bud becomes visible after 8weeks. A purple bud emerges at the centre of the stem. This gradually undergo a stage called the filling phase to emerge as the pineapple fruit.

BUDDING This is another important and very technical Pineapple management practice.
What is Budding in Pineapple and why is it important?
Budding is the removal of the innermost whorl of leaflets along with growing tips of the pineapple crown. This is done 45-50 days after setting of pineapple fruits. This is done to get fruits of better size and shape. In other words, when you realize the crown is gradually getting bigger in proportion the normal (than the fruit), then there is a need to severe the growth of the crown so that resources can be mobilize further for fruit development. This operation is usually done with the aid of a budding knife.
Please note that budding requires technical know-how as pineapple can be damaged if handling is done carelessly.

Pests and Diseases
Care of pineapple plants becomes important in order to protect them from pests and diseases. Controlling the nematodes is necessary because they stunt pineapple growth. 1,3-dichloropropene or 1,3-D is efficient in controlling the nematodes and is applied using the fumigation process. In this process, the soil is smoked. Mealy bugs which cause the wilting of pineapple leaves are controlled by spraying pesticides. The fire ants which carry mealy bugs from one plant to another need to be controlled in this case. Root rot disease is controlled by improving soil drainage and fungicide application.

HARVESTING
Under natural condition, that is an un-induced pineapple farm, pineapples is harvested between late April to August. The fruit usually ripens about 5 months after flowering. With irregular flowering, harvesting is spread over a long period of time, thereby bringing pineapple production from planting to harvesting between 19-20 months.
Summer fruits of pineapple mature early as compared to the winter ones. To know if the summer fruits are ready for harvesting, check whether the pineapple’s ‘eye’ is pale green. In the winter season, fruits turn light yellow at the base and are considered as ready for harvesting. For pineapple fruits to be ‘canned’, it is necessary to harvest them when fully ripe.
The activity of pineapple cultivation requires in-depth knowledge of different stages of growth of this plant.
NOTE:
It takes pineapple 9months to be of sufficient mass (dark green in colour) to produce a good sized fruit. At this point it is set for artificial inducement.
This period of time for maturity is particular by pineapples propagated by suckers only. If you plant suckers and induce them after 9months then be sure of harvesting pineapple in 14months after planting. But if it were to be crowns used in the process of propagating pineapple, then expect to harvest between 19-20 months after planting.
This is the reason it is advisable to use suckers for propagating pineapples regardless of the specie.