Meghalaya’s pineapples have found their way to the international markets with growers reaping a rich harvest, an official said.
Grown mostly in Ri Bhoi and East Garo Hills districts by local communities in a traditional manner, these crops are mostly naturally organic and are being recognised for their unique quality and taste not only in India but also abroad, Meghalaya agriculture and farmers welfare department’s commissioner and secretary Vijay Kumar D. said.
‘’It is a matter of great pride for the state that pineapples from Meghalaya are the centrepiece of the elaborate display celebrating the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, at the Al-Wahda mall in Abu Dhabi,’’ he said.
These pineapples are being marketed through Lulu Group in the Gulf countries’ markets, he added. ‘’The recent market linkages to the Middle East and domestic processors are a testament to the immense potential of our state’s pineapples in the international and national markets,” he said.
The surge in price realisation and the establishment of market connections have not only elevated the farmers’ livelihoods but have also showcased the superior quality of Meghalaya’s pineapples with their exceptional sweetness and low sourness. The Meghalaya government has recognised the challenges faced by farmers in the past and has focussed on empowering them with community-centric solutions.
‘’The formation of farmer cooperatives and producer organisations has proven instrumental in reducing reliance on middlemen and traders, enabling our farmers to receive fair value for their produce,’’ he said.
The forthcoming pineapple festival in Delhi is yet another significant step towards promoting the product and strengthening its presence in the national market.
“The formation of farmer cooperatives and producer organisations has led to fair value for our produce and we no longer have to rely on middlemen who exploited us in the past. The recent linkages to domestic and international markets have been a game-changer,” president of Napak Apal Integrated Village Cooperative Societies (IVCS) at Songsak Block in East Garo Hills Selwindro Sangma said.
President of Silchang Dirimbri Palwang Ading IVCS of Rongjeng Block Manman S. Momin said he had never imagined that his pineapples would reach global markets and it is immensely fulfilling to see the hard work of the farmers being recognised and appreciated internationally.
The farmers previously received Rs 10 per pineapple irrespective of the weight of the fruit but with collectivisation and market linkage with international buyers, they received Rs 16 per kg which is equivalent to Rs 21 per fruit, with the average fruit size exported being 1.3 kg.