10 metric tons of kew pineapples were transported from Kumarghat to Mumbai by road in a container on Tuesday Credit: EastMojo image

Agartala: At a time when novel coronavirus has brought the whole world to a standstill and industrial production has stopped, the farmers are also facing a deep crisis.

However, using the available technology, a village-level farmer from Darchi has found a buyer from Dubai using the Common Services Centre’s (CSC) Kisan e-Mart platform.

Union communications, electronics & information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad informed that the pineapples of Tripura got buyers from Dubai through the CSC, a digital platform that connects the rural and remote location where availability of internet is absent.

Taking to Twitter, Prasad wrote, “Pineapples from Tripura got a buyer in Dubai through the digital agriculture platform of CSC. The farmer who used to sell pineapples in local markets at very low price has got a very attractive price for his produce. #DigitalAgriculture in #DigitalIndia”.

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Earlier on Tuesday, the CSC Tripura took to Twitter and informed that pineapples of Tripura sold through CSC Kisan e-Mart is going to Dubai.

An official from the horticulture and soil conservation informed that with the efforts from the department, 500 kg of queen pineapple is being flown from Agartala Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport to New Delhi, while 10 metric tons of pineapple were transported from Kumarghat to Mumbai by road in a container on Tuesday.

These pineapples were procured from the growers of Darchai area in Unakoti district by the buyers from outside the state. The kew variety pineapples were bought at a rate of Rs 15 per piece directly from the farmers.

Kisan e-Mart initiative was launched last month by the CSC under the Union ministry of electronics and IT to digitally connect farmers with markets. It leverages technology to connect farmers with the buyers through village-level entrepreneurs of the CSC.

Under this initiative, farmers and buyers are registered on the Kisan e-Mart platform through a foolproof verification process involving KYC. Once the farmer is registered, the entrepreneur adds the stock of the farmer for sale with a minimum price quotation. It is then sold for the quoted price or more, depending on the stock and quality.

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Meanwhile, traders from neighbouring state Assam’s Karimganj and Silchar have started buying queen pineapple on a regular basis. Besides, there is a huge demand for queen variety pineapple including markets in Agartala city.

Tripura produces three varieties of pineapples — kew, queen and Bombay. Queen pineapples are considered the most exotic and are in great demand.

Last year, 300 mt of queen pineapples were exported to Dubai and Doha as part of the state government’s aggressive push for the pineapple variety.

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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.

Earlier, this month to promote Tripura’s homegrown queen pineapples, the department of horticulture and soil conservation had developed unique tags and logos for packaging boxes for exporting the produce in national and international level.

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