1. Home
  2. Agripedia

Enhancing Pineapple Cultivation: A Comprehensive Guide

Explore the basics of the cultivation practices followed for growing pineapples.

Shreetu Singh
A Comprehensive Guide for Pineapple Cultivation, Image source: Pexel
A Comprehensive Guide for Pineapple Cultivation, Image source: Pexel

Pineapple (Ananas comosus, (L.) Merr.), a member of the Bromeliaceae family, is a beloved tropical fruit known for its delicious taste and many uses. It is a sweet tropical fruit rich in antioxidants like vitamin C, which supports skin health and immunity. It contains bromelain, aiding digestion and reducing inflammation, benefiting gut health and easing arthritis symptoms. Additionally, pineapple supplies essential nutrients like manganese and copper, crucial for bone health and overall well-being. In India, it's an important crop, especially in states like West Bengal, Assam, and Tripura. Let's delve deeper into the complexities of pineapple cultivation.

Climatic and Soil Requirements

  • Pineapple thrives in tropical climates, favoring temperatures between 22°C to 32°C.

  • It requires well-drained sandy loam soils with a slightly acidic pH level ranging from 5.0 to 6.0. The crop requires proper drainage facilities to grow.

Varieties of Pineapple Grown in India

India cultivates several varieties of pineapple, each dedicated to specific purposes:

  • Kew: Known for its large size and suitability for canning purposes.

  • Queen: Prized for its crisp texture and preferred for fresh consumption.

  • Mauritius: Grown exclusively for table use, available in yellow and red varieties.

  • Vazhakulam Pineapple (Kannara): Noted for its aromatic flavor and nutritional richness.

  • Amritha: A hybrid variety admired for its firm, non-fibrous flesh and high sugar content.

Propagation and Planting

  • Pineapples should be planted 12-15 months before peak flowering, typically from December to March, depending on regional monsoon patterns. In North East India, planting is best from August to October; in Kerala and Karnataka, April to June is ideal. Avoiding planting during heavy rains helps avoid delays in crop maturity of up to 7-9 months.

  • Pineapple is propagated using suckers, slips, or crowns. Suckers and slips are preferred planting materials, with optimal planting times varying across regions. 

  • Land preparation involves ploughing or digging, followed by trenching of about 90 cm width and 15-30 cm depth to ensure adequate drainage. 

  • Spacing recommendations depend on climate and soil conditions, with high-density planting methods enhancing productivity. In sub-tropical and mild humid areas, a density of 63,400 plants per hectare with spacing of 22.5 cm between plants, 60 cm between rows, and 75 cm between beds is ideal. 

  • In hot and humid conditions, a slightly lower density of 53,300 plants per hectare spaced at 25 cm between plants, 60 cm between rows, and 90 cm between beds ensures high yields. 

  • For rainfed, fertile, and hilly areas in northeastern India, a density of 31,000 plants per hectare is recommended.

Nutrient Management and Irrigation

  • Effective nutrient management is essential for pineapple cultivation, with a balanced application of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A dose of N:P:K :: 12:4:12 g/plant/year for the North East region and N:P:K :: 8:4:8 for other regions is preferred. Fertilizers are typically applied in split doses, supplemented by organic sources like Farm Yard Manure (FYM). 

  • Pineapple is primarily rainfed, but supplementary irrigation at an interval of 10 to 15 days during dry spells significantly enhances fruit size and quality.

Plant Protection

Mealy Bug (Dysmicoccus brevipes)

  • Life Cycle: Eggs hatch in 3-9 days. Nymphs disperse over 40-50 days. Adult females live 31-80 days.

  • Damage: Sucks sap, wilts plants, covers fruits in waxy coating, attracts ants.

  • Management: Destroy ant colonies, remove weeds, use natural enemies like ladybird beetles, release Chrysoperla spp.

Scales (Diaspis bromeliae)

  • Life Cycle: Eggs under scale covering, nymphs feed on plant sap.

  • Damage: Causes rust-colored spots, shields under wax secretion.

  • Management: Destroy infested plant parts, use natural enemies like Aphytis chrysomphali, predatory thrips.

Thrips (Holopothrips ananasi)

  • Life Cycle: Eggs laid in plant tissue, nymphs feed on sap, adults emerge in 3 weeks.

  • Damage: Silvery-flecked leaf surfaces, feed on flowers causing "dead-eye" in fruits.

  • Management: Maintain irrigation to reduce population, use windbreaks, natural predators like predatory mites.

Fruit Borer (Strymon megarus)

  • Life Cycle: Eggs laid on flowers, larvae tunnel inside fruits, pupate in soil.

  • Damage: Frass production, gummy exudate, product rejection.

  • Management: Use Bacillus thuringiensis, natural predators like mirid bugs.

Phytophthora Diseases

  • Symptoms: Heart rot causes wilting, root rot leads to root necrosis, base rot causes grey-black rot at stem base.

  • Management: Maintain soil drainage, avoid deep planting, use raised beds, manage pH balance.

Water Blister (Chalara paradoxa)

  • Symptoms: Soft, watery rot in fruits, brittle skin.

  • Management: Handle fruit carefully, remove damaged fruit, maintain proper drainage.

Mealybug Wilt Disease

  • Symptoms: Leaf reddening, wilting, plant collapse.

  • Management: Use wilt-free planting material, remove infected plants, control ants.

Nematode Diseases

  • Symptoms: Root-knot nematodes cause root swellings, reniform nematodes reduce root growth.

  • Management: Fallow fields, thorough land preparation.

Rodent Management

  • Pests: Lesser Bandicoot, House Rat, Northern Palm Squirrel.

  • Management: Clean cultivation, remove weeds, burrow smoking, encourage natural predators like barn owls, use zinc phosphide baits.

Flower Induction and Harvesting

  • Uniform flowering is induced through applications of Ethephon, crucial for synchronized fruit maturation. 

  • Harvesting typically occurs 15-18 months after planting, depending on variety and local climate conditions and it gives an average yield of 50-80 tonnes/ha. Pineapples destined for canning are harvested slightly earlier than those intended for fresh consumption, ensuring optimal taste and texture.

Post-Harvest Management

  • Post-harvest handling involves grading fruits based on size, weight, and color. Storage under cool, dry conditions prolongs shelf life, with refrigeration extending storage capabilities up to 20 days. 

  • Packaging practices involve using baskets lined with paddy straw to protect fruits during transportation, ensuring they reach markets in optimal condition.

Export Procedures

Exporting pineapples requires strict adherence to phytosanitary regulations, including farm registration, implementation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), and obtaining Phytosanitary Certificates (PSCs). These certificates ensure compliance with international standards, facilitating smooth export processes and enhancing market access.

Economic and Agricultural Impact

Pineapple cultivation contributes significantly to India's agricultural economy, providing livelihoods to farmers and supporting rural communities. The crop's diverse uses in fresh consumption, juice extraction, canning, and export markets highlight its economic potential and versatility. By adopting modern cultivation techniques and adhering to quality standards, Indian pineapple producers continue to strengthen their position in the global market.

International No Diet Day 2024 Quiz Take a quiz
Share your comments
FactCheck in Agriculture Project

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters