||Heterogeneity in fruit quality (size and taste) is a major problem in pineapple production chains. The possibilities
were investigated of reducing the heterogeneity in pineapple in the field by pruning slips on selected plants, in
order to promote the fruit growth on these plants. Slips are side shoots that develop just below the pineapple fruit
during fruit development. Two on-farm experiments were carried out in commercial fields in Benin with a cultivar
locally known as Sugarloaf, to determine (a) the effect of slip pruning on fruit quality; (b) whether the effect of slip
pruning depends on the pruning time; and (c) whether slip pruning from the plants with the smallest infructescences
results in more uniformity in fruit quality. A split-plot design was used with pruning time (2 or 3 months after
inflorescence emergence) as main factor and fraction of pruned plants (no plants pruned (control); pruning on
the one-third plants with the smallest infructescences; pruning on the two-thirds plants with the smallest
infructescences; pruning on all plants) as sub-factor. Fruit quality characteristics measured at harvest were the fruit
(infructescence + crown) weight and length, the infructescence weight and length, the crown weight and length,
the ratio crown length: infructescence length, the total soluble solids, the juice pH and the flesh translucency.
Results indicated that pruning of slips of any fraction of the plants at 2 or 3 months after inflorescence emergence did
not lead to a consistent improvement in quality or uniformity. Consequently it is not recommended to farmers in
Benin to prune the slips.