Agri Business

Kerala pineapple growers seek help as lockdown hits harvest

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on March 27, 2020 Published on March 27, 2020

File photo   -  KK_Mustafah

The Centre’s initiative to help tomato farmers in Madhya Pradesh market their harvested stock has prompted Kerala’s pineapple growers to seek similar help from the authorities.

According to growers, around 5,000 tonnes of pineapple is ready for harvest across 45,000 acres in various parts of Kerala. However, the lockdown has adversely affected the harvest, leading to the decaying of the fruit. Around 1,000 tonnes have already rotten and the government should take urgent measures to resolve the crisis, Baby John, President, Pineapple Growers Association Keralam, told BusinessLine.

The harvested fruit, he said, can be made available directly to the retail market in the State, which is facing shortage of fruits and vegetables due to the disruption in cargo movement. Also, the government can consider including pineapple in the food kit being distributed to people affected by the lockdown, he added.

Prices crash

The present situation in the country has taken a severe toll on pineapple prices, with the farm gate prices coming down to ₹10 per kg. “If we can carry out the harvest now, the fruit can be sold in the retail market at ₹15-20 a kg, especially when other fruit prices are soaring,” he added.

The rates have declined to ₹20 per kg for the GI-tagged Vazhakulam pineapple, against ₹30 in January.

Almost three lakh families are solely dependent on pineapple farming, which provides around 45 lakh working days a year. Since the labourers mostly stay in the plantations without mingling too much with the public, they should be allowed to carry out the harvest with adequate safety measures. Otherwise, the already ailing pineapple sector will be hit further, John said, adding that the farming community has taken agriculture credit worth ₹700 crore this season.


The lower price realisation and closing of APMC (Agricultural Produce Market Committee) markets in North India have forced growers to seek a one-year moratorium with interest waiver on their existing agriculture loans. The fruit movement to various destinations has come to a standstill. Delhi and Maharashtra are considered the prime markets for pineapple and the peak season starts in April.

Published on March 27, 2020

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.