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Action plan on pineapple

Deputy chief minister Jishnu Devvarma at the Tripura Pineapple Festival in Agartala on Thursday. Picture by Pranab Shil

Agartala: Tripura deputy chief minister Jishnu Devvarma on Thursday said the state government would soon chalk out an action plan to boost pineapple production and revive a closed pineapple-processing plant.

Addressing a gathering at the inaugural session of the Tripura Pineapple Festival and Exposition, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here, Devvarma said Tripura had immense potential in the pineapple sector owing to sufficient rain and favourable soil conditions. He added that marketing was very important for sustaining pineapples and added that the state government would work to market it.

On June 3, the first consignment of 1 tonne Queen variety of pineapples was shipped to Dubai from Tripura. "We will continue to send more consignments every two days," agriculture minister Pranajit Singha Roy said at the flagging-offceremony of the first consignment to Dubai.

Devvarma said the Centre was "very generous" in providing support to develop Tripura. According to him, the government cannot develop the fruit-processing sector itself, but would definitely act as facilitator through private parties. "We shall provide land, loans and other financial supports. The CII should come forward to market the Queen-variety pineapples. But our experience in the public-private-partnership (PPP) mode is bitter. If we work in the PPP mode, we will like to do it in a very organised manner," he said.

The state government has recently set up an Industrial Infrastructure and Development Board. Devvarma said an action plan would be chalked out soon to boost pineapple production in Tripura and revive the fruit-processing plants of the state which were closed. A fruit-processing plant started by the North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation (Neramac) stopped operation for nearly a decade. Devvarma said steps would be taken to revive it.

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