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Pineapple Procurement Started By Horticultural Corporation

Pineapple procurement is underway by the Kerala State Horticultural Development Corporation with a view to help farmers who are facing a record fall in price of the fruit due to a glut in the market.

Tooba Maher

Pineapple procurement is underway by the Kerala State Horticultural Development Corporation with a view to help farmers who are facing a record fall in price of the fruit due to a glut in the market.  

As per the sources at the Vazhakkulam, Agro and Fruit Processing Company, jointly owned by the State government, Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam and farmers, said that so far about 45 tonnes had been procured after an intervention was made by the State Department of Agriculture. Out of it, 10 tonnes were procured on Saturday and 35 tonnes on Monday. 

Hence, it has been decided that pineapple would be procured from farmers who bring their fruits with a certificate from the agricultural officer concerned. The step is taken to avoid allegations that pineapple was being procured from traders or from large-scale farms. Three tonnes of pineapple will be procured from the farmers at a price of Rs. 17 a kg even as the open market price ruled around Rs. 10 a kg for the best quality produce. 

In a meeting of stakeholders headed by Minister for Agriculture V.S. Sunilkumar last week had decided that more pineapple might be procured in the future if the present drive did not give a boost to the price. 

According to a farmer in Muvattupuzha, the procurement of 200 tonnes would just be a drop in the ocean considering the glut in the market. There are a variety of factors that helped increase production this season after the epic rains and flooding of the fields in the Muvattupuzha and other areas in mid-August. 

Adding to it, the severe winter in North India has contributed to depressing demands in upcountry destinations like Delhi and Mumbai including other towns and cities. The farmer also pointed out that large-scale processing would have helped the farmers better considering the quantum of fruits available now. 

As per a rough estimate, the fruit production this season is in the vicinity of 4 lakh tonnes. Increasing acreage under pineapple in the wake of the continuing fall in the price of rubber had helped increase production. 

Interestingly, more farmers have taken up pineapple farming as yields are available within a short period of time as compared to other crops. 

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