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Boosting Pineapple Export from Tripura

Chander Mohan
Chander Mohan

Tripura is a land of high hills, hillocks, interspersed with rivers and valleys having moderately warm and humid climate, well distributed annual rainfall of 2500 mm. The terrain soil and climate of the State of Tripura are ideally suited for rain-fed Horticulture. Tripura,being endowed with fertile soils, abundant moisture and sub-tropical climate offer immense scope for production of a wide variety of tropical and sub-tropical fruits and vegetables.

Tripura is fortunate to have agricultural as well as climatic conditions suitable for production of a large variety of horticultural crops chief among which include "Queen" and "Kew"; varieties of Pineapple, Oranges, Lichis and Cashew.

Two varieties of Pineapples are available in Tripura during mid-May to mid-September. The varieties are Queen and Kew.

Queen Pineapple -  Fruits are Spiny, golden yellow in color and emits pleasant aroma and flavor at the ripen stage. The fruits are harvested when eyes turns yellow during mid-May to mid-July when the fruit is available. Average weight of fruit varies from 600 Grams to 800 Grams. It possesses all the good Organoleptic qualities. Juice bright yellow color. TSS varies from 10o to 14o brix depending upon the stage of maturity and season. PH 4 to 4.5. Water content 80 percent  to 90 percent . Sweetness and unique aroma differentiates it with Pineapple of other region of North East India.

Kew Pineapple-  Spineless large size fruit weight varies from 1.5 Kg. to 3 Kg. Highly juicy with TSS content 8° to 12° brix. The colour of Juice is light yellow with considerable aroma and flavor. Highly suitable for canning.Pineapples harvested at half ripe stage can be kept fresh for 1 to 3 weeks at 12° c to 13° c.Farmers have pioneered pineapple cultivation in Tripura. In their traditional lore too, they have carefully preserved a belief. That “pineapple would never betray them”. That, any crop may fail in an unfavorable circumstance, but pineapple is just a viable crop of survival, providing substantial income year after year. 

This popular belief of the Darlongs, a sub tribe of Mizos, residing in Nalkata area of Kumarghat Block of North Tripura district, 140 km off Agartala, the capital city of Tripura is still instrumental in ensuring bumper pineapple crops in their hamlet. 

Productivity of pineapple per hectare in Tripura is 18.73 tonnes, which is higher than the national average of 15.80 tonnes. The Dhalai district, another buffer zone of pineapple cultivation records the highest yield per hectare production in the state with 21.88 tonnes, according to Sibnarayan Sen, Director of the state government’s Department of Horticulture.

In order to boost the export of pineapples, Tripura Horticulture Corporation Limited (THCL) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Spicejet Merchandise Pvt Ltd. The MoU was signed during a seminar on processing and marketing of horticulture produce of Tripura.The memorandum has been signed with a target to provide pineapples to major cities of the country.

Tripura holds pride in its "Queen" variety of pineapple. This variety soon will be exported not only to Indian states but also to different parts of the world including the Middle East.

Tripura’s CM Biplab Kumar Deb is keen on making this fruit available to the domestic as well as foreign market so that the local farmers can be benefitted.

A high level seminar was held on processing and marketing horticulture produce at Pragna Bhawan. The event was inaugurated by State Agriculture and Tourism Minister Pranajit Singha Roy.

The Minister added : “Actually had there been a market than the farmers would not have moved away from pineapples. Our government is less than 2 month 10 days and we along with all the department has jointly take this initiative to give provide to the pineapple farmers who produce more than 1.3 lac MT of the fruit so that other than the demand of the state the remaining may be sent out of the state markets. So that everyone outside can taste the queen and Kew pineapple of Tripura. We have take this initiative in war footing manner so that farmers never say that we do not want to produce the pineapple.”

Pineapple is one of the major fruits of the area. According to statstics, the productivity of pineapple per hectare is 18.73 tonnes, which is higher than the national average of 15.80 tonnes

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