It was with trepidation that 62 year-old G. Subramanian, a farmer from Vattiyoorkavu, decided to try his luck with pineapple farming. Opinions poured on how the soil may not be suitable or how rain may play spoilsport. But being a risk-taker, he decided to trust his 30 years of experience.

On Wednesday, as he looked at the workers harvesting pineapple in heaps from his two-and-a-half acre farm, he knew his efforts had paid off. K. Muraleedharan, MLA, made the first harvest at a function organised by Krishi Bhavan under the scheme Pineapple Area Expansion, 2013-14, supported by the Kerala State Horticulture Mission.

“Officials from Krishi Bhavan and councillors encouraged me to try pineapple farming as they said the soil condition and climate were suitable. I decided to take a risk,” Mr. Subramanian says. He had planted the Mauritius variety. Asha Raju, Agriculture Officer, says the trial cultivation yielded higher than expected. Fruits weighing two kg each were the average output. “The real production rate can be assessed only after two or three harvests. The first set was planted in the worst climatic conditions and yet it has provided a good yield,” Mr. Subramanian says.