Queen pineapples headed for Dubai
Guwahati: The Queen variety of pineapple from Tripura, which has got a GI tag, will be exported for the first time to Dubai next month.
Sources said a meeting, organised by the state government, was held in Agartala recently. It was attended by officials from APEDA (Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority), an apex organisation under the ministry of commerce and industry, exporters, importers, logistics providers, scientists from Assam Agriculture University, Railways, Custom, and other government bodies.
The Tripura Queen pineapple got the GI tag in 2015 and was helped by North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation, a central public sector unit, in getting it. The Queen pineapples are spiny, golden yellow in colour and have a pleasant aroma and flavour. The sweetness and unique aroma differentiates it from pineapples of other states of the Northeast. Tripura is one of the largest pineapple growing states in the country and there are more than 100 commercial scale pineapple plantations spread throughout the state. APEDA had earlier helped export the Kew variety of pineapples from Tripura to West Asia. The exporter is Kreamery Craft, based in Calcutta.
A senior official from APEDA said Spicejet airlines also attended the meeting and evinced interest in carrying the consignment from Agartala to Dubai.
The delegation, comprising exporters, importers, APEDA officials and the state government, also visited pineapple farms and interacted with the farmers and offered suggestions and advice to the farmers. The delegation also suggested setting up certain infrastructure facilities for maintaining the superior quality of the fruit.
The official said the state government has been urged to make a logo of the Queen variety of pineapple. A quantity of one to two metric tonnes could be exported and if the importers like the product, there will be regular business.
"One of the biggest drawbacks at airports in the Northeast is the lack of customs clearance which adds to the cost," a source said, adding that the custom clearance is done either in Calcutta or Delhi for which the exporters have to bear an additional expenditure, making it difficult to compete in the market.