Members of COAFGA (fruit growers cooperative) in Gakenke district have embarked on drying pineapples to preserve them and increase their value.
This is because a kilogram of dried pineapples costs Rwf3500 which is double or triple the cost of 6 ripe pineapples.
Tito Niyigaba, president of the cooperative explains that drying the pineapples will help them preserve them in case they fail to get instant buyers. Also drying the pineapples will allow the cooperative to export the produce.
Dried pineapples spend a year before expiring yet retain the natural part which makes it easy for export to western and other African countries.
Tito Niyigaba confirms that dried pineapples are not much bought in Rwanda but he says they mostly to Uganda and to other European countries.
The only challenge facing the cooperative is lack of sufficient funds to purchase materials.
COAFGA cooperative makes 40 kilograms of dried pineapples a week but working hard to secure a bank loan and expand its activities.