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Lesson Note

Subject: Agricultural Science
Topic: Production of pineapple (Ananas comosus)
Lesson Objectives: At the end of the lesson, learners should be able to:

  1. Explain the processes involved in producing pineapple,
  2. State the species or varieties of pineapple,
  3. Discuss the way pineapple is propaganda and harvested,
  4. State the pests and diseases that affect the growth of pineapple.

Lesson Discussions

Scientific Classification

Uses: Pineapple fruits are eaten as desert fruits in the tropics and sub-tropics. Commercial crop of pineapple is canned as fruit drinks. It can also be used in producing wine. The fruit residues may be made into bran which is used as cattle feed. Fine fabric called “pifa” is also made from pineapple leaves. A variegated form of pineapple is grown as an ornamental. Pineapple has also medicinal value.

Varieties: A large number of cultivars, that is, cultivated varieties have been recorded and these include “cayenne” which is the most widely grown cultivar. Other varieties are “Queen”, “Red Spanish”, “Singapore Spanish”, “Abacaxi” and “Cabezona”.

Ecology: It can be grown on a wide range of soils but it does not tolerate water logging. Sandy loams with a pH of 5.0 – 6.5 are preferred.
Due to the special water storage cells in the leaves, it ia drought tolerant. It grows under a wide range of rainfall conditions from 600 – 2500mm but 1000 – 1500mm is optimum. Some varieties tolerate poor soil fertility and shade conditions.
Pineapple Propagation: In breeding work, the seeds are propagated while vegetative materials are used in commercial production of pineapple. The vegetative propagules include:

  • Suckers – arose from buds below ground level
  • Shoots – leafy branches arising from the leaf axils
  • Slips – borne on the peduncle just below or at the base of the fruit
  • ‘Hapas’ – shoots produced at the base of the peduncle
  • Crowns – from the top of the fruits
  • Butts or stumps – the entire after the fruits have been harvested and from which the base of the stem, roots, leaves and peduncle have been removed.

Crowns produce a more uniform crops than any other propagule (propagating material). Large planting material produces large plants, earlier fruiting and higher yields.

Vegetative Parts Of Pineapple

Husbandry: Clear the land and till the soil to a fine tilth. In planting, the old plants may be knocked down, crushed and dropped and the resulting green matter incorporated into the top soil so that the trash could decompose.
Soil may be fumigated to destroy nematodes and other dangerous soil organisms. Pineapple are usually planted in beds each with 2 rows 60cm apart and with plants 25 – 35cm apart in the rows, and staggered so that the plants in each row alternate. The distance between bes i 15 – 90cm. Propagules are planted ahallowly and firmly, care being taken not to cover the central bud. The stocking density is 40,000 – 45,000 plants per hectare.

Weeding: This is necessary particularly during early growth and this is done by hand, mechanically or by herbicides or a combination of these.

Harvesting: Flowering and fruiting may be induced in pineapple by the use of smoke, ethylene, acetylene and some growth hormones. Acetylene can be produced by putting about 1 gm of calcium carbide into the apex of the plant or in the leaf axils. The fruits are picked by hand as it is necesary to select only fully mature or ripe fruits.
Fruits for the fresh fruit market are marketed with the crown intact and the base of the fruit is sometime dressed with Ben acid or talc to control microbial rot.

Yields: The yield of fruit per hectare is 38 – 75 tons for the plant crop but ration crop is less yielding.

Major diseases: These include mealubug wilt, heart and root rot, and yellow spot diseases.
Major pests: These are the larvae of butterfly, large moth, root knot nematode and rats.


  1. Loss of viability caused by attack of pests and pathogens. Insect pests such as weevils eat up the germs or embryos leading to loss of viability. The attack of pre-emergence damping off fungi on the seeds also cause loss of viability.
  2. Presence of toxic exudates or lethal substances in the rhizosphere or soil leads to loss of seed viability.
  3. Burying of the planted seeds too deeply can cut off warmth, oxygen and other conditions that are necessary for germination from the planted seeds and then cause loss of seed viability.
  4. Shallow planting of the seeds can expose the seeds to excessive dryness and heat leading to loss of seed viability.
  5. Seed dormancy: some seeds enjoy dormancy and unless the dormancy is broken they cannot germinate when planted. Oil palm fruits fall within this group.

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  1. Explain the processes involved in producing pineapple.
  2. State the species or varieties of pineapple.
  3. Discuss the way pineapple is propaganda and harvested.
  4. State the pests and diseases that affect the growth of pineapple.

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