Umunede- The Umediunor Pineapple Farmers Co-operative Society, Umunede, Ika North-East Local Government Area of Delta, has appealed to the state government to provide agricultural extension services to members of the union.
The Chairman of the society, Mr Fred Uwajeh, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umunede on Sunday.
Uwajeh said that members of the union needed urgent education on modern techniques of farming for improved productivity.
He said that lack of education on modern farming innovations and practices was hampering their productivity.
“Over the years, our members have relied on traditional farming methods to cultivate pineapple and this has contributed to the poor output of the farmers.
“We want more knowledge to enhance our farming methods and improve productivity, most especially now that pineapple is on high demand.
“If we can get better education on modern farming methods and have access to improved species of pineapple suckers, it will help us increase our productivity,” Uwajeh said.
According to the chairman, the society has been a major supplier of pineapple to consumers in Onitsha, Port-Harcourt, Benin and Warri.
He said that many of the farmers started pineapple farming on a small-scale, but had over the years, expanded their farms.
“This cooperative society is a major supplier of pineapple to some major cities in the country. Many of us have between three and five pineapple farms.
“After harvesting, we pull our resources together to transport the product to markets in Onitsha, Benin, Warri, Port-Harcourt and other cities.
“Pineapple farming is a major income earner and I believe that with better education and improved farming incentives, we can increase production and our market outreach,” he said.
Uwajeh said some of the challenges facing commercial pineapple farming include: pest attack and disease; bush burning; cost of transportation; preservation and lack of incentives. (NAN)