Farmers turn to pineapple farming to recover loss from rubber plantations
Palakkad: A group of farmers from Thirumittakode here have switched to pineapple farming after facing loss in rubber farming. Considering the maintenance and other expenses of rubber farming after planting the saplings, it only gives loss. But rubber price remains low in market.
Many farmers have started experimenting with other crops due to loss from rubber plantation. Thirumittakode native Harinarayanan, a young farmer, cut all rubber trees on his 3-acre plantation and cultivated pineapple.
Only 200 rubber trees can be planted in one acre land. Only ten rubber sheets can be made from 200 trees a day. Latex can be collected from the tree only on alternate days. The farmers can harvest upto 150 kilogram rubber per month.
About Rs 22,500 can be earned from rubber per month. The farmer can earn Rs 1500 on alternate days. Rs 400 is spent for collecting latex and other processes. After deducting the expenses, only Rs 950 is earned as profit from one acre.
Latex can be harvested for upto 5 months from rubber trees. After this, the latex collection gradually decreases giving a hard time for the farmers. This also affects the revenue and the farmers start planting other crops in the land.
Most of the rubber plantations in the region have been switched to pineapple farms now. The farmers find it more profitable as 9000 pineapple saplings can be planted on one acre land. One fruit fetches Rs 20 and annual profit is around Rs 1,80,000, they said.
The pineapples harvested from the farms in Thirumittakode are sent to local markets and other states. The Krishi Bhavan in the area also support the farmers by offering them advices and supplying seeds.