Rising prices bring cheers to pineapple farmers

Pineapple farmers are heaving a sigh of relief, with the price of ripe fruit crossing ₹40 a kg.

The price of ripe fruit is hovering around ₹43 a kg, and raw fruit is fetching around ₹40 a kg thanks to the rise in demand in the Ramadan month.

The demand in north Indian cities too has gone up owing to severe heat, said Jose Perumpallykunnel, a farmer, on Saturday. He added that there was but a shortage of fruit, as farmers had earlier harvested raw fruits to be sent to upcountry markets.

Shortage of workers

Baby John, another farmer, said the pineapple sector was going through a crisis because of the drop in the number of workers.

From among the estimated 25,000 workers from other States in the sector, around 20,000 had returned to their native States in the wake of the announcement of elections in Assam and West Bengal.

Workers from Jharkhand and Orissa, however, are available.

Last month, the sector was looking at a rise of 20% in production. But Mr. Perumpallykunnel said there was a shortage of the fruit in the market.

The Vazhakkulam market is seeing the arrival of around 50 tonnes of fruits per day. The rest of the fruits are being loaded and despatched from farm sites, he added.

It is estimated that around 5,000 farmers are involved in pineapple cultivation in the State.

The 18,000 hectares under the crop produce around 5.5 lakh tonnes of fruits a year. Bulk of the produce is exported to other States.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 2:28:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/rising-prices-bring-cheers-to-pineapple-farmers/article34347559.ece

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