By Raywattie Deonarine
Pineapple farming in Region Two has been one of the main sources of income for the residents, particularly of the Amerindian communities of Capoey Village and Mainstay/Whayaka.
Over the years, the planting, growth, cultivation and marketing of the tasty fruit has paved the way for community development and the advancement of educational possibilities for the residents of these communities. Additionally, it creates a better life for the residents and even has the potential for tourism opportunities.
As the harvesting of pineapples continues in full swing, several stalls in the markets and along the Essequibo Coast are exhibiting the scrumptious fruit.
A recent visit at the Anna Regina markets revealed that pineapples were being sold at a very cheap price and are simultaneously being purchased by customers at a fast rate. The demand for organic pineapple is growing and attracting buyers from different regions in the country.
According to a pineapple vendor at Capoey Junction, she goes out with over 50 pineapples daily and at the end of the day she sometimes only takes back home around 5 or so, sometimes none at all. She said that most of her customers purchase organic pineapples to make luscious pineapple jam, pine tarts, to put in fried rice and also for food decorative purposes.
She related that her customers are mainly passengers who pass the route daily.
Another vendor, Shireen Buchoon, said that pineapple farming has “broke her out” of poverty and has afforded her many necessities in her home. She said pineapple farming sustains her livelihood and provides her with an income.
Buchoon sells her produce on Sundays at the Suddie Market and also on Fridays at the Anna Regina Old Market.
The pineapple vendor had on display a number of palatable-looking pineapples, ranging from two hundred to five hundred dollars. Adding to this, the pineapple vendor said that they have managed to ensure their “delicious” pineapples are available on stalls at various local markets.
She said that she developed the passion for pineapple farming and vending about five years ago and through cultivation, managed to ensure that her kids received their education.
According to a farmer at Mainstay/Whayaka, Kertney Stephanie, a large quantity of pineapple harvesting commenced a month ago despite the May-June rainy season.
He and his mother managed to harvest hundreds of sugary pineapples from their eight acres of farmland.
Chandanie Ramnarace, another pineapple vendor said “I usually purchase sweet pineapples from Big Market in Canal for approximately twelve years now which does a bit for me and my kids… it’s tasty pineapples which are healthy for everyone because it’s a good source of antioxidants, which will assist in reducing chronic illness.”
Ramnarace is seen at the Anna Regina Old Market on a daily basis. She is a single mother of three children and would usually purchase pineapples to sell from Georgetown.
When Sunday Times interviewed several pineapple farmers and vendors at the Anna Regina Market on Friday, many of them related that while hundreds of pines are lying on stalls, sales are slower than expected.
Stephanie, who was seen selling in the market, said that every year she looks forward to the season to earn extra cash.
“For the past few weeks, the rain gave us a licking…many of my pineapples that are reaped on my farm are giving off jellies on their skins and many customers do not want to buy them. The rain plenty on us and it affects many of us because the road is bad. It is difficult for me to get transportation to bring out pineapples to sell… if I do I have to pay a high price and customers do not want to pay the price for pineapples when it’s so high. Sometimes I stay up the whole day at markets and just a few pines will sell how slow marketing is,” Stephanie stated.