Nandan Nagar (Tripura), Feb 26 (ANI): Pineapple growers in Tripura are a happy lot as the staggering technique has given a boost to the pineapple yield.
Earlier, the farmers were gradually moving towards rubber plantation, a more profitable commodity.
"I'm working here for last 25 years. After adapting to the staggering technique, we are able to work all through the year. We have overall benefited from this technique," said Muksud Ali, a pineapple grower.
Pineapple is a highly perishable food-crop and even in the cold storage it lasts only for 28 days.
Now with the introduction of a new process called 'staggering' the farmers can harvest the fruit according to their requirement throughout the year.
The staggering method has been tested and proven in Tripura's Horticulture Research Complex in Nagricherra area. It was first introduced in 25 hectares of farm land in 2005. Now, altogether 200 hectares of land was brought under staggering cultivation for getting raw pineapples in 8-10 months per year.
"Last year, we had started staggering technique in pineapple. We use Ethel and Sodium Carbonate along with two per cent urea.
To showcase this technique, we have developed a small plot. During the glut period, the pineapple growers were selling pineapples for Rs. 2 per piece and after using this technique they are getting Rs. 3-5 per piece," said Ashok Das, agriculture officer from department of agriculture, Tripura.
Besides doubling the growers income, the fruit can be harvested almost round the year. There is no glut and the prices are stable over a longer period.
The laborers who earlier were poorly paid and had work for only three months in a year are now engaged round the year in the orchards.
To provide growers more market linkage, the North Eastern Regional Agriculture Marketing Corporation (NERAMC) had set up a fruit juice concentration plant, way back in 1988, in Nalkata with an initial capital investment of 30 million rupees.
The aim was to purchase surplus marketable pineapple and other fruits from the farmers. The plant has an installed capacity of 48 metric tons per day.
Productivity of pineapple per hectare in Tripura is 18.73 tonnes, which is higher than the national average of 15.80 tons. (ANI)