An assessment report on pineapple production in the Solomon Islands Malaita Province has recommended the start of the export of pineapples to Australia and the setting up of a jam processing factory in Honiara and a juice factory in Auki.The Marketing Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock did a recent assessment on pineapple farmers on the South Road between the areas of Arabala and Sinasu, as a result of a request from pineapple buyers in Australia.
The assessment team led by Principle Planning Officer Marketing, Noel Roposi found that farmers are producing up to 10,000-400,000 fruits per year.
The main seasons are between January to June and September to December with the peak harvest taking place between October to December.
The report said that pineapples examined by the team were disease free with all but two farmers using fertilizer on their plants.
But the team found that a lack of markets for farmers has led to a decline in production and the abandoning of pineapple farms.
Farmers complained of an oversupply of pineapple at Auki Market and in Honiara during the peak season and called for the setting up of a jam-making facility and a juice factory.