The Meghalaya Pineapple Fest 2023 began today in New Delhi, organised by the state government to promote locally grown pineapples.
Union Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Giriraj Singh, was present along with Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, cabinet ministers and senior civil servants.
Singh shared his thoughts on the significance of agricultural diversity and collaboration between states, saying of this festival, “It’s a step in the right direction towards promoting sustainable agricultural practices, fostering inter-state cooperation and enhancing the livelihoods of farmers. In the context of our nation’s agricultural landscape, diversity is not just a word, it’s a treasure trove of opportunities. Events like these encourage us to explore the possibilities that lie within our own states, learn about their unique agricultural practices, and adapt them for the benefit of all.”
“Meghalaya’s pineapples have garnered a reputation for their exquisite taste and quality. This event provides a platform not only to showcase this unique produce but also to highlight the hard work and dedication of the farmers who nurture our land,” he added.
Sangma, meanwhile, highlighted that Meghalaya’s pineapples are now being sold in the Middle East thanks to interventions by his government.
The North East states contribute 51.18 percent of the total pineapple production in the country, with Meghalaya contributing 7.69 percent, making the state one of the top 5 pineapple producing states in India.
Meghalayan pineapples have the lowest pesticide and heavy metal residue in the country and are less sour and significantly sweeter. A testament to the quality of the state’s pineapple, they are being exported to Switzerland to be used in baby food as the pineapples from Meghalaya are among the rare few in the country that can pass the stringent food testing standards set in place for the European market, a press release stated today.
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 established a mobile processing operation in order to take in larger quantities of pineapples, leading to over 50 tonnes of the fruit being processed by the unit in the first couple of weeks of its operation.