Farmers’ crops are often left to rot when the harvest is at peak season and the prevailing market cannot consume all the produce. Prices offered are low and many farmers are unable to provide basic necessities for their families. Kayunga Farmers’ Association in Uganda requested assistance with the training and materials needed to start drying and marketing fruit. Members would provide labor, reporting and sustainability of the project.
Members were trained in packhouse cleaning, hygiene, fruit processing, drying, and packaging. Drying the fruit extends its shelf life and reduces loss to bumper crops. The average farmer using these dryers produces 45 kilograms of dried pineapple per month, which can be sold to make $1,747 per year. This is an attractive wage compared to their prior income of under $500 per year. These are still poor farmers, but they are able to feed their children, educate them, provide health care, etc. As is common in this part of the world, each income-producer typically supports 6-16 people.