Pineapple is world-famous for its sweet, tangy tropical taste. It’s a good source of vitamins A, B, and C and minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron. It also plays a very important role in Indian agriculture as it’s cultivated on over 89000 hectares. So today, let’s dig deep and know more about pineapple and its trade in India.
Pineapple Cultivation in India
Pineapple is one of the most important commercial fruits of India. Millions of Indians love its sweet taste. Currently, with an annual production of around 14.2 million tons, India is the world’s fifth largest producer of pineapples. With around 8.2% of the world’s total pineapple production in India, the country is reaching new heights. In India, states like Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Karnataka, Manipur, and Tripura are majorly responsible for pineapple production. The production of pineapple is increasing rapidly in India. According to data series of spatial-temporal growth of pineapple from 1995 to 2016, the cultivation area increased from 71.3 thousand to 109.83 thousand hectares. Currently, Assam has the largest area under pineapple cultivation since the climate and soil of the state are most suitable for the crop.
Pineapple Varieties in India
There are many varieties of pineapple grown in India. They are all unique and have loyal consumers. Let’s have a look at them:
- Kew: Kew is one of the leading commercial pineapple varieties in India. It is especially known for its late maturing time which enhances the flavor of the fruit. Each fruit weighs between 2-3 kg and turns yellow when fully ripe. It’s almost fiberless and very juicy.
- Queen: It’s one of the oldest varieties of pineapple that mainly grows in India, Australia, and South Africa. Each fruit weighs around 1 to 1.5 kg. After maturing, the fruits turn golden yellow. Its flesh is less juicy and more crispy than other varieties of pineapples.
- Mauritius: It’s majorly grown only in some parts of Meghalaya and Kerala. It’s medium in size compared to other varieties and comes with yellow or red skin. In comparison to the red ones, the yellow Mauritius pineapples are very sweet and rich in fiber.
- Jaldhup and Lakhat: These two are domestic varieties of pineapples grown in India. They are named after the place they grow. They are mainly used for processing purposes. They are actually related to the Queen variety, but due to their small size, sweetness, and acidity, they are not considered prime like Queen.
Pineapple Growing Seasons
Pineapple is usually grown in humid tropical climates. But with the proper care, it can be grown on plains and at heights of up to 900 meters. It requires a moderate temperature with moisture to grow. That’s why pineapple cultivation is limited to areas with heavy rainfall and humid coastal regions. These qualities make the northeastern states of India a prime place to grow them. Pineapple plants are not too heat tolerant and can die in extreme heat. In India, most of the production happens from July to September. And it takes around 18 to 24 months to grow pineapples. The pineapple crop needs a temperature of 65 to 95 degrees along with 1500mm rainfall per year. It can also be grown in 500mm to 5550mm rain but 1500mm is ideal for better growth.
Export Potential of Indian Pineapples
India is the 5th largest producer of pineapples in the world. Philippines, Costa Rica, Brazil, Indonesia are China are ahead of India currently. However, the cultivation area and pineapple production in India is increasing steadily. The last few years were very fruitful for India with regard to pineapple exports. In the year 2009, the total value of pineapple export was $4.03 million. And in the year 2020, it grew to $22.55 million. 2014 was the biggest export year for Indian pineapples. That year India exported pineapples worth $53.69 million. In 2020, India exported pineapple to countries such as the Netherlands, United Kingdom, China, USA, Saudi Arabia, France, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Canada, and Japan. The Netherlands was the biggest buyer of Indian pineapples. India sold them pineapples worth $5.88 million. This rapid increase in the Indian pineapple export scenario shows that, in the coming years, pineapple has the potential to be a big commercial fruit in the country.
Future of Pineapples
The future of pineapples in India looks quite promising. Indian pineapple export grew to 100% during April-December 2021. India sold pineapples worth $3.26 million as compared to $1.63 million worth of fruit sold in the same time period during 2013. The major export destinations last year were the UAE (32.2 %), Nepal (22.7 %), Qatar (16.6 %), Maldives (13.2 %), and the US (7.1 %). Now Middle Eastern countries are becoming the new big buyers of Indian pineapples. In August 2022, Tripura exported 9909 tons of pineapples worth ₹14 crores to Dubai and Qatar.
As you just saw, pineapple is soon becoming the fruit that is good for trading both in the domestic market and globally. The number of pineapple buyers across the country is growing on a daily basis and they are making good profits in the pineapple trade. All you need is the right pineapple trader or a platform like Bijak agriculture trading app that will help you to connect with India’s most trusted pineapple traders.