The states in north eastern India are not only famous for their wildlife and awesome natural wealth. They are also known for their track record in harvesting specific crops and fruits. Assam tea is famous in and outside India and popularity of Khasi mandarin is also growing. The small landlocked state Tripura produces quality Pineapples in abundant amounts.
Reasons behind Tripura’s Pineapple cultivation
Tripura has a topography composed of mainly high hills, river valleys, hillocks and the climate is moderately warm and humid. This makes soil of the state ideal for rain-fed Horticulture. The abundant moisture, sub-tropical climate and fertile soil make the state well suited for harvesting sub-tropical vegetables and fruits. Fruits like Pineapple, Coconut, Orange and Lime are harvested in abundance in Tripura. Of these, the Pineapple cultivation deserves special mention.
Related: Bamboo and cane crafts of Tripura
Pineapple harvest in Tripura: Nuances
The tribes in Tripura harvest two types of pineapple- "Queen" and "Kew". They do not usually resort to using fertilizers and pesticides. May to September are the months of Pineapple harvest in Tripura. The Darlong tribes living in Kumarghat region engage in this harvest mostly. Another zone where bumper Pineapple harvest takes place is the Dhalai district. Average pineapple production per acre in Tripura tends to be higher than that of the other states.
Queen Pineapples are golden yellow, Spiny and have pleasant aroma when ripe. The average weight of these pineapples can be 800 grams. The juice also has bright yellow color and it is quite sweet. Kew Pineapples lack spine and they are larger in size. A mature fruit can weigh 3 Kg. These fruits are quite juicy.
Hurdles on the way
While the climate and soil are conductive for pineapple cultivation in Tripura, farmers face some obstacles. Shortage of adequate cold storage centers is one major hindrance, leading to waste of fruits. The state government has plans to set up pineapple processing units.