Covid disrupts pineapple supply chain in upcountry markets

Lavern Vogel

Vazhakulam Pineapple, the GI-tagged fruit, which catapulted to world fame the otherwise diminishing agricultural dominance of Kerala, is struggling with the brunt of the Covid-19 crisis. Farmers, who carry out farming on leased lands with lender financial loans, are struggling with the largest crisis with supply chains closed and crops […]

Vazhakulam Pineapple, the GI-tagged fruit, which catapulted to world fame the otherwise diminishing agricultural dominance of Kerala, is struggling with the brunt of the Covid-19 crisis.

Farmers, who carry out farming on leased lands with lender financial loans, are struggling with the largest crisis with supply chains closed and crops heading waste. They have sought crisis relief packages from each the central and condition governments to tide about the crisis.

James George, President, All Kerala Pineapple Farmers Affiliation, reported that farmers on an ordinary invest ₹6.25 lakh for each hectare each individual yr, harvesting close to five lakh tonns of pineapple. Most of the huge timers are farming on leased land, generally amidst rubber plantations. When the costs had been hovering close to ₹39-forty five for each kg in the course of March-April 2019, farmers took more land on lease for farming.

Nevertheless, the costs tanked to close to ₹10 for each kg on an ordinary owing to shipping and delivery issues, when the expense of manufacturing was at the very least ₹25 for each kg. There was high need for the fruit in Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Chennai, in addition to the surge in need in the course of Ramadan, when at the very least 2,000 tonnes are harvested each individual day. This yr, this peak period for pineapple was shattered by the Covid-19 pandemic, as most north Indian marketplaces had been closed and cargoes had been not moving at all, he reported.

With everyday losses estimated at close to ₹5 crore because March 2020, the total losses would insert up to ₹300 crore. Offered the scenario, the affiliation has questioned the govt to compose off the interest on financial loans and restructure all current financial loans without interest for up to two yrs.

Presently, the minimum amount procurement price tag available by the govt is ₹15, which would be hiked to ₹25 in proportion to the expense of manufacturing. A subsidy of ₹10 for each kg for the fruit, which was manufactured in the course of this period, has also been sought.

The affiliation also highlighted the crisis looming on the labour entrance, as pineapple farming is a labour-intense exercise, generating close to 170 times of work for each yr on an acre of land. The departure of migrant workers again to their property states in huge figures has poorly afflicted pineapple harvesting and processing.

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