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Farmers happy with the rising prices of pineapple

Swati Sharma
Swati Sharma

The rising price of pineapple has brought back the smiles on the face of the farmers who faced a bad time during covid-19 last year. 

Last night, the price increased by Rs 6 per kg, with green apple and special green levitate in the range of Rs 25 and Rs 26 per kg respectively, and the ripe fruit selling at Rs 30. 

Drop-in production during the summer season and the reassemble in prices of other seasonal fruits, that is why the spike in pineapple prices, traders also seem hopeful for green fruit topping Rs 30 per kg after the Holi festival in North India. 

Farmers strike hikes pineapple trading from Kerala to upcountry markets. 

The farm-level price of Vazhakkulam pineapple, which has got geographical indication tag, has plunged to Rs 10 per kg at the start of the year due to many issues, including farmers strike in Delhi, which hindered moving the fruit to North Indian markets. 

Fear of Lockdown 

Baby John, president of pineapple growers association keralam, expressed his fear that the rising covid cases in many north Indian states could hit the demand on the occasion of a possible lockdown.  

“We are slightly worried about the situation as any further rise in covid cases may lead to cancellation of marriages, functions, major ceremonies, thereby impacting pineapple consumption,” he said. 

Kerala announces Rs 15 per kg MSP for pineapples 

The increase in the production cost of pineapple has nullified the benefits of a hike in pineapple prices so far. To achieve the rising production cost and obtain maximum price, many farmers have started plucking the fruit as the fruit size gets further reduced in summer. 

Alex Joseph, a trader in Vazhakkulam, increasing covid cases in Maharashtra is a major concern as Maharashtra accounts for 40 percent of total pineapple consumption. Pineapple is an integral part of Ramadan fasting, and the fruit production and prices look up during the festival period. The area-wise Lockdown might hit the business abruptly in the main consuming centers of high populated cities in Maharashtra. 

According to traders, summer has begun to crash the production with a reduction of 1000 tons per day from 1500 tons in the last 15 days. 

The annual production is expected to touch 4.5 lakh ton by the end of the current fiscal, similar to last year. 

Impact of One District One Product 

T Maya, head, pineapple research station, Vazhakkulam, Kerala Agricultural University, said rising prices had given new hope to the farming community to try its luck for the next crop season. 

After putting pineapple crop under ODOP [one district one product] both in the Ernakulam and Kottayam districts, inquiries are coming in from pineapple-based industries across the country the value addition units. ODOP will surely benefit the sector more broadly as there will be assured sales in the market for the farmer, she said.  

Also, the MSP announcement by the Kerala Government for the fruit would ensure support in case of a price fall. 

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