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Pineapple prices fall to sh200 in Masaka, farmers stuck

Farmers in a Pineapple Plantation in Kyanamukaaka sub county in Masaka district where the market has shrunk as exporters stay away

Masaka, Uganda  | THE INDEPENDENT |  Pineapple farmers in Masaka district are stuck with their farm produces as their export market shrinks. 

The most affected are farmers in the sub-counties of Kyannamukaaka, Kyesiiga and Buwunga who are struggling to find market for their ripe pineapples with some already rotting in the plantations.   

Fred Kinalwa, who cultivated 17 acres of pineapples at Kitiiti village in Kyannamukaaka Sub County, says they are in a bumper harvest this season, but to their disappointment, they are failing to get market for the produce hence incurring heavy losses.  

He explains that at least 1,000 pineapple farmers in the area have always targeted export market mainly in the neighbouring countries of Kenya and Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan but to their dismay, the usual traders are now staying away.  

Kinalwa says that the price of pineapples has drastically dropped to as a low as 200 shillings from an average of 1,000 shillings.

Theresa Najjuma, Zzimwe parish councillor in Kyannamukaaka sub-county and a farmer explains that they have lately lost their export markets to new pineapple farmers based in areas of Zziribwe and Kikyuusa in Luwero district, and Kanguluimira in Kayunga district. 

Najjuma says that they are currently producing for local markets in the neighbouring towns, which can only consume too little compared to the supply capacity. 

Moses Ssebugwawo, another pineapple farmer at Nkuuna village in Kyesiiga sub-county has cried out to government to respond to their demands of having processing plant in the area to save them of huge losses suffered due to lack of market.  

He warns that government’s efforts of giving farmers inputs may fail to realize the intended results of promoting commercial agriculture in the area if farmers are not supported with processing facilities that can add value to their agricultural produce to attract more earnings.   

Maria Nakakande, the Masaka district female councillor for Kyesiiga and Kyannamukaaka sub-counties and one of President Museveni’s Wealth Creation Coordinators in the area has also attested to the situation, however indicating that they are still waiting for the President’s pledge of giving the area a processing plant.  

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One comment

  1. Government should print money to fund the buying up of these surplus pineapples, milk,eggs at competitive prices and distribute these surpluses free of charge to all Ugandan students at all levels and to prevent inflation resulting from the printed money, bank of Uganda should then issue government bonds and treasury bills sucking up most of the extra printed money.

    Government could even go further and print more money to finance affordable good quality public housing and require all building materials are manufactured in the country. The resultant construction, logistics, trading and manufacturing jobs could significantly reduce the rampant unemployment. And as above bank of Uganda will subsequently issue the appropriate government bonds/ treasury bills to prevent any inflation.

    In summary, Government should print annually an extra UgShs. 120 trillion or the equivalent of the country’s gdp for that year, to be spent in more such ways that will create demand in the appropriate sectors. This plus raising tariffs on imports 10times could reduce our country’s dependence on fragile export markets and threats to our sovereignty.

    This approach to economic development is not that farfetched as it’s was the underlying factor for the West Germany’s and Japan’s economic miracles of 1950s -1980s.

    Comment by aspiring common-man economist.

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