Sunday, August 14, 2022

Horticulture board project to enhance queen pineapple production in Tripura

The National Horticulture Board (NHB) has initiated several measures to make Tripura’s Sepahijala district a major hub for round-the-year production of the queen variety of pineapple, which, in turn, will benefit its 2,500 cultivators in the district, an official said on Sunday.
Tonnes of queen pineapple, which has been officially declared as Tripura’s state fruit, gets exported to Dubai, Doha and other parts of the world every year, and the new measures to the tune of Rs 65 crore, once implemented, will add to that volume, the director of horticulture department, Phani Bhushan Jamatia, said.
“The National Horticulture Board (NHB) has decided to launch a pilot project for year-long pineapple production in Sepahijala, besides looking after its promotion and branding activities. A process has already begun to kick off the ambitious project in the district.
“As part of its measures, the fruit will be grown in clusters so that they can be well attended to. Besides, a state-of-art laboratory will be set up in the district to check the quality of the produce,” Jamatia told PTI.
A survey was carried out by NHB in Sepahijala, and a plan was accordingly designed, based on the results, to enhance the production of the fruit, known for its unique taste and food value, he stated.
“An expression of interest (EoI) has already been sought from prospective agencies having expertise in pineapple production. The NHB will fund 50 per cent of the total project cost, while the remaining expenditure will have to be incurred by the agency by way of arranging bank loan,” Jamatia explained.
Sepahijala district accounts for 40 per cent of the state’s total queen pineapple production, he added
Tripura annually produces around 1.44 MT of the queen variety – a chunk of which gets exported to middle-east and other countries.
Around 300MT pineapples were sold to other states of India and foreign nations in 2019, according to official records.


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