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Easing of lockdown rules proves beneficial for Kerala’s pineapple growers

Kerala’s pineapple growers heaved a sigh of aid subsequent the exemptions presented to all farm-related get the job done from the lockdown regulations.

The nod presented by the authorities has enabled pineapple growers to start off harvesting on a restricted scale, about two hundred tonnes for every day, stated Little one John of the Pineapple Growers Affiliation, Kerala. “We have obtained orders to dispatch 10 tonnes to Kozhikode, but restricted availability of trucks is posing a problem”, he stated, including that there are also enquiries from Tamil Nadu and Bengaluru subsequent the easing of restrictions in cargo movement.

The lack of fruit has pushed up the rates of the fruit to ₹60 for every kg in many retail markets against the farm gate price tag of ₹10-fifteen for the GI tagged Vazhakulam pineapple. The easing of lockdown regulations is a fantastic aid to pineapple growers as it would help them to have interaction their workforce, especially migrant labourers, in the present atmosphere where by there is no get the job done, he included.

Little one John acknowledged the purpose BusinessLine has performed in highlighting the plight of pineapple growers. The farmers have sought aid together the lines of what was extended to tomato farmers in Madhya Pradesh for harvesting their stock. The pineapple growers had pointed out that about 5,000 tonnes is now completely ready for harvest on about forty five,000 acres and about 1,000 tonnes have already rotted due to the lockdown.

Meanwhile, the Kerala Agricultural University has designed an improved unit brush cutter pineapple harvester with a fruit keeping attachment. Typically, pineapple harvesting was carried out manually, with a specific knife. It is a monotonous and labour-intense action. The sharp thorny leaves make harvesting exceptionally cumbersome, as hand obtain to the fruit is tough. In some locations, the adjoining leaves, which hide the stem of the fruit, require to be pruned as a pre-harvest operation to make harvesting easy.

To prevail over this sort of challenges, an improved unit has been launched and the average time of harvesting 10 fruits is 4 minutes. The performance of the newly designed unit was identified far better than other pineapple harvesting devices earlier designed, stated P Shaji James, Professor, Agriculture Investigate Station, KAU.