Following the successful export of Khasi mandarin last year, the Department of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare and Meghalaya Basin Management Agency (MBMA) recently facilitated market linkages of over 1.3 tonnes of pineapples to the Middle East.
The pineapples were sourced from Silchang Dimrimbri Palwa Adling IVCS of East Garo Hills district and were sold across malls in Dubai, Kuwait and Sharjah.
An official statement said farmers are enjoying the fruit of their labour with up to two times increase in price realisation from these trades. Officials also said the efforts closer home have resulted in sustained market linkages with domestic processors and retailers.
Last year, over 40 tonnes of pineapples were shipped to a Karnataka based processor to be further exported to European and North American markets. This year, the same processor has established a mobile processing unit at Umdihar IVCS in Ri Bhoi district for taking in larger quantities and over 23 tonnes of pineapples have been processed by the unit in the first week of its operation.
Meghalaya pineapples are famous for their high-sugar content (brix value of 16-18) and low sourness. The pineapples in the State are mostly being cultivated without any use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, resulting in significantly lower heavy metal and pesticide residue in the fruit. These traits make them highly suitable for lucrative international and national markets.
To further promote and build the market for the fruit, a Pineapple festival will be held in Delhi next month.