Covid disrupts pineapple supply chain in upcountry markets

Vazhakulam Pineapple, the GI-tagged fruit, which catapulted to global fame the if not diminishing agricultural…

Vazhakulam Pineapple, the GI-tagged fruit, which catapulted to global fame the if not diminishing agricultural dominance of Kerala, is facing the brunt of the Covid-19 crisis.

Farmers, who have out farming on leased lands with bank loans, are facing the most important crisis with offer chains closed and crops heading waste. They have sought unexpected emergency reduction packages from equally the central and point out governments to tide about the crisis.

James George, President, All Kerala Pineapple Farmers Association, claimed that farmers on an regular shell out ₹6.twenty five lakh per hectare each individual calendar year, harvesting close to 5 lakh tonns of pineapple. Most of the massive timers are farming on leased land, mainly amidst rubber plantations. When the price ranges have been hovering close to ₹39-forty five per kg throughout March-April 2019, farmers took far more land on lease for farming.

On the other hand, the price ranges tanked to close to ₹10 per kg on an regular owing to shipping and delivery challenges, when the cost of creation was at the very least ₹25 per kg. There was high need for the fruit in Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Chennai, in addition to the surge in need throughout Ramadan, when at the very least 2,000 tonnes are harvested each individual working day. This calendar year, this peak year for pineapple was shattered by the Covid-19 pandemic, as most north Indian markets have been closed and cargoes have been not moving at all, he claimed.

With daily losses believed at close to ₹5 crore given that March 2020, the total losses would incorporate up to ₹300 crore. Presented the predicament, the association has requested the authorities to publish off the desire on loans and restructure all existing loans with out desire for up to two yrs.

Now, the minimal procurement rate provided by the authorities is ₹15, which would be hiked to ₹25 in proportion to the cost of creation. A subsidy of ₹10 per kg for the fruit, which was manufactured throughout this year, has also been sought.

The association also highlighted the crisis looming on the labour front, as pineapple farming is a labour-intense activity, building close to a hundred and seventy times of employment per calendar year on an acre of land. The departure of migrant staff again to their household states in massive figures has terribly affected pineapple harvesting and processing.

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