Pineapples from Meghalaya reaping a rich harvest
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Agartala: The production of queen pineapples has increased one-and-a-half times more than last year with over 300 metric tons of the fruit already exported outside Tripura, said chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb in Agartala on Saturday.

The state produces three varieties of pineapples – Kew, Queen and Bombay. Queen pineapples are considered the most exotic and are in great demand.

Inaugurating a workshop on ‘Pradhanmantri Kishan Sampada Yojana’ at Prajna Bhawan in Agartala, Deb said that the state government has been giving more priority to develop entrepreneurship in a bid to strengthen the state’s economy.

“Last year, we exported 30 metric tons of queen pineapples. This year, we have already exported 300 metric tons to other states of the country and neighbouring Bangladesh,” Deb said.

Last year, queen pineapples were also exported to Dubai and Doha as part of the state government’s aggressive push for the pineapple variety, Deb added.

Union minister of state for food processing industries Rameshwar Teli, who also participated in the programme, said that more employment would be generated with the development of the food processing industries in the country.

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“After the BJP government formed in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi started giving priorities for the development of North East. North East is full of various types of fruits and many of them can be exported directly to the international market after processing it. We are planning to make ice cream cone by using Jack Fruits”, Teli said.

Meanwhile, assistant director of horticulture Dipak Baidya said that 1.28 lakh metric ton pineapples of different varieties were produced this year and said that the state government facilitates export of the pineapple through exporters.

Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb (middle) with Union minister of state for food processing industries Rameshwar Teli (third from left) inaugurating a workshop on ‘Pradhan Mantri Kishan Sampada Yojna’ in Agartala on Saturday

As per statistics of the department, pineapples are cultivated in 8,800 hectares of land in Tripura and roughly 4,000 farmers are directly involved with growing the fruit.

Since the BJP-IPFT government assumed office last year, the queen pineapple variety has got the highest attention in the state. President Ram Nath Kovind declared queen pineapple as the state fruit of Tripura during his visit in June 2018.

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