The production areas fall within the Coastal Savanna Zone with a characteristic two rainy and two dry seasons. The main wet season starts from April to July. This is followed by a short break in August. A minor season rain follows which extends from September to November. The mean annual rainfall is about 940 mm. The period of no rain or scarce rainfall is from November to March. Generally, temperatures are uniform throughout the year 26°C. The coldest month is in August and the highest temperatures are recorded in February and March. Relative humidities are highest between mid-night and early morning and the lowest in the mid afternoons. The early morning relative humidity averages about 86% but falls in the dry season.
Phenology of the Varieties
Pineapple is planted throughout the year, however, plantings are made in such a way that harvesting, and transport and marketing coincide Christmas and Easter.
Pineapple cultivation is unique because flowering is induced artificially by man. Floral induction (FI) enables planters to group flowering and therefore the harvest in a field. FI can be performed all the year round and so the production cycle can be scheduled.
As a result, the pineapple cropping cycle is divided into two stages. The first is the vegetative growth of the plant and is completed by floral induction (FI). Most of the cultural operations are performed during this stage. The second stage is that of the production of fruits and then of the slips required for renewing plantations. Slip production must not be neglected during the cropping cycle.
The length of these cycles varies according to the climate in the production region and the plant material.
In general the length of cycle from planting to harvest is between 12 – 15 months depending on the climatic conditions and production techniques used. The peak planting season is in July, August, September and December to February ending. Floral induction takes place at 7-8 months and fruits are ready for harvesting in 4 to 5 months time.