Among the important horticultural crops, pineapples grown in Tripura are widely acclaimed as the best in the country. Besides quality production of oranges, bananas, jackfruit, mangoes and cashew nuts, the state also has surpluses of several vegetable crops, including cabbage, cauliflower, tomato and others.
According to the report of the Horticulture Department, huge tracts of land are available for the cultivation of fruit or plantation crops like pineapples. The department has adopted some strategies for sustainable development of fruits, vegetables and flowers. The production and productivity primarily depend on the use of good planting materials. The Horticulture Department intends to provide all this to producers.
The conditions in the Indian state of Tripura are favorable for the production of pineapples - willing try to export these pineapples abroad, stated Agriculture Minister Pranajit Singha Roy. The pineapples of Tripura are of a very good quality and they are in great demand in India and abroad. Favorable agro-climatic conditions, deep fertile soils, a sub-tropical humid climate with abundant rainfall offer tremendous scope for development of the Horticulture sector in the state.
Unseasonal cultivation of pineapple, made possible by horticulture scientists in Tripura, is providing more revenue to farmers in the State.
We used ethyl sodium carbonate chemicals for bearing fruit in winter which is not its proper season and we have been successful, a scientist of the Horticulture department, said.
The department carried out experiments on 30 hectares at a cost of Rs. 6 lakh and was successful, he said.
Firoz Mia in West Tripura cultivated pineapples on one hectare of fallow land encouraged by the Horticulture Department last year and now 5,000 pineapples have ripened in December which means earnings of about Rs. 1,50,000.
“Initially I was not interested in the cultivation of pineapples, but the officers of the Horticulture Department gave me a lot of subsidies in buying seedlings and also provided technical assistance for using chemicals for the untimely bearing of fruit. I have been hugely benefited,” Mr. Mia said.
Tripura is now a State with surplus production of horticulture crops like mango, jackfruit, papaya, banana, and litchi.
A Horticulture and Soil Conservation Department source said the State has a demand of about 2,14,000 tonne for this kind of produce, but the actual production has gone to over five lakh tonne.
Generally, two types of pineapple are grown in Tripura — Queen variety and Kelenga variety.
Of these, the popular one is the Queen variety of which production was 40,000 tonnes this year, while the Kelenga variety produced an estimated at 66,406 tonnes.
The increased production of pineapple-based food products is, therefore, finding markets outside the State.
Manager of Piyush Agro Tech, P. S. Chauhan said his company received orders from an Italian company for sending a consignment of 1,02,000 cans of sliced pineapples after its experts ascertained the packaging process.
“Tripura pineapples, especially of the queen variety are now regularly going abroad. Canned pineapple slices are being sent to European countries,” Dipen Chowdhury, the in-charge of the processing unit of Piyush Agro Tech said.
The North East Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation (NERAMAC), the central agricultural marketing agency and the Tripura Small Industries Corporation have come forward with mini-fruit processing units.