Jalpaiguri (WB), June 21 (ANI): Absence of ample rainfall and in certain places no rains at all has affected the pineapple crop in Jalpaiguri region of West Bengal.
Bidhannagar, located around 45 kilometres from Siliguri, which is famous for pineapples is the worst hit.
Due to the paucity of rainfall, almost all the pineapples are either deformed or smaller in size.
"The production of the pineapple is badly affected as there is acute scarcity of rains. There has been no rainfall for the past six to seven months. Because of that the size of the pineapple is not as good as compared to last year. Now there is no demand from outside. We used to export fruits from our farms to Nepal and Bhutan," said Arun Mondal, Secretary, North Bengal Pineapple Farmers Association, Bidhannagar, West Bengal.
"The overall production has gone down by 25 percent," he added.
Consequently, Nepal and Bhutan, the prominent countries importing pineapples from Bidhannagar are reluctant to purchase the inferior produce.
"As the weather has not been favourable for the pineapple this year, the size of the pineapple is reduced. There is a huge demand for pineapples in foreign countries. If the government gives some attention to the fruit, there will be considerable benefit for the farmers and development of the pineapple trade," said Vishal Gosh, a pineapple grower, Bidhannagar, West Bengal.
The growers also recalled that a matured pineapple from Bidhannagar weighing between two to three kilograms would fetch them over eight rupees but for the weather gods this season. By Taruk Sarkar (ANI)