TANZANIA – The law of supply and demand is currently at play in Dar es Salaam as pineapple prices double due to ongoing off-season supply-demand gap.

The region’s fruit season starts in October and ends in May during which the supply is surplus meeting and exceeding demand resulting in lowered prices.

According to a recent spot survey, the wholesale price of pineapples during this off-season has increased considerably.

The price for small-sized pineapples has risen from TSh.500 to TSh.1000, medium-sized pineapples have gone up from TSh.1000 to TSh.1500, and slightly larger pineapples are now priced at TSh.1500 to TSh.2000.

“The business is still tough despite having some off-season pineapple, and the price is deterring customers. However, at least we have the fruit available year-round,” lamented Hamza Kivulungo, a trader from Mabibo market.

Kivulungo further clarified that the current fruit circulation in Dar es Salaam is on account of the ‘mpigo’ pineapple variety which can be planted in and out of season.

“Coming next month the business will flourish as the season starts and seems like customers are accustomed to consuming pineapple toward the end of the year and refer to it as the December fruit,” added Kivulungo who is also a wholesale trader.

Based on his statistics, the Mabibo market situated in Ubungu District currently receives about four trucks of pineapples with a daily capacity of 20 tonnes down from 10 trucks during high season.

Mabibo market, the largest market in Dar es Salaam, receives its pineapple supply mainly from Kiwangwa in Bagamoyo where the offseason resilient variety ‘mpigo’ is grown.

In another report on the Tanzanian pineapple industry outlook by reportlinker, the country’s pineapple production is expected to reach 549,000 tonnes by 2026 which is a 2.2 per cent year-on-year growth since 1966.

Pineapples in Tanzania bloom in sandy soils hence their immense production at the coast region in Bagamoyo.

While there are large-scale pineapple-producing farms in the region, the majority of the farmers are smallholders.

Mr. Francis Emmanuel, another trader at Temeke, explained that the hiked prices plus the cold season further discourages customers, as most buyers prefer pineapples during the hot season to quench their thirst.

Tanzanian pineapple farmers mainly grow the sweet cayenne variety which has a high local and export demand.

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