Blog / The cooperative introduces itself.

The cooperative introduces itself.

The Kangulumira & Vanilla Co-operative Society Ltd. was founded in 2004. Today we have 300 members, more than half of whom are women.

We are convinced of organic farming. 70 of our farmers are already certified organic according to European standards by the Swiss Ecocert IMOswiss AG. We've been certified since 2015 and successfully re-certify every year. It is our goal to transfer all our farmers to certified organic agriculture. Our long-time cooperative leader, Rashid Moses Kabale, is also a trained Trainer of Trainers (TOT) for organic farming. He attends many trainings and educates the members of the cooperative.

Harvesting pineapples all year round

Our pineapples are planted in small fields. We use a strict and sophisticated system of mixed cropping to maintain good soil quality. Between the pineapple rows we plant beans to enrich the soil with nitrogen. We also have banana perennial, papaya and avocado trees in our fields. Our fields are therefore not comparable with a monoculture plantation. It takes us a lot of effort to work the fields with our traditional hoes. We use coffee husks to fertilize our fields and from the old pineapple plants we grow new seedlings and plant them in mounds. It takes about a year for the perennials to start flowering and another 4 months for them to bear fruit. The peak season for harvesting is November to April, and during the rest of the year the yields are lower. Nevertheless, we can harvest pineapple all year round. The fruits do not ripen all at the same time, so we go to the fields every day to harvest the ripe fruit by hand.

The current economic situation

Today we harvest about 4,800 tons of fresh organic pineapple. From this we can export 10% and another 10% is processed into dried fruit for export. The rest is sold in the local market. In the local market the value for our organic pineapples is very low.

Simple tunnel dryers are still being used for the production of the dried fruit. Because of this, we struggle with the risk of the produce spoiling during the process. When it rains, the fruit starts to ferment. Since our customers only accept premium fruit, we have to sort very carefully. The current process does not allow for stable quality.

Many improvements with the new plant

We are greatly looking forward to our new production possibilities in the solar-powered factory, which TWIGA Sun Fruits GmbH will build together with All in Trade Ltd. This will allow us to stabilize our quality and production volume. This will enable the cooperative to have a stable and higher income. We can export a part of the production directly to Europe via TWIGA Sun Fruits GmbH and thereby double our sales price.