Pineapple price rises; sigh of relief for farmers in Kerala
Kochi: The pineapple market in the state gained momentum after Covid restrictions were lifted in North India. The revised price as of Monday is Rs 26 per kg for special grade raw pineapple, Rs 25 for regular raw ones and Rs 30 for ripe fruits.
In the first week of January this year, special grade raw, regular grade raw, and ripe fruits were priced at Rs 14, Rs 13, and Rs 12 respectively. Compared to this, the price has almost doubled.
Baby John, state president of the Pineapple Growers Association, attributed the price hike to the relaxation of covid restrictions in north India and low production of pineapple in the state. He said the current price is good for the market but the decline in production is affecting the farmers.
Delhi and Jaipur are the major markets for pineapple from Kerala. Pineapple prices fluctuate based on the demand in these markets. The special grade is most popular there. During the wedding season, up to 200 tonnes of pineapples are sold on the streets of Delhi in a single day, Baby John said. The ripe fruit is generally sold within the state and to Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Production generally declines during the monsoon season. However, in previous years, the price of pineapple had gone up to around Rs 40 per kg. Pineapple production is now below 600 tonnes which was around 1000-1500 tonnes in the past.
During the lockdown, 30,000 tonnes of pineapples were destroyed in the farms and warehouses. Although the government has announced a minimum support price for pineapple procurement, the farmers had complained that it is not implemented efficiently. The base price for pineapple is set at Rs 15. Not even 300 tonnes were procured at the time of price drop.