Kerala keeping an eye on the pineapple revenue.
According to statistics, Kerala accounts for 70% of the pineapple produced in India which can be approximated upto 3.5 lakh tonnes of pineapples.
The produced pineapples are for national potential are not exported. But one advantage to higher marketing for Kerala is that the cost of production per fruit is comparatively lower than that of other countries.
Though the State has enough potential to export, Kerala is yet to put foot into pineapple export market, the main reason for the lag might be the hindrance in converting pineapple into sub products like juice concentrates, candies, halwas and so on. The market is to corroborate with the technological advancements in terms of equipments to manufacture these value added products.
The Pineapple fest conducted in Vazhakulam, Ernakulam aimed at exposing Kerala market to active buyers from South-East Asian and Middle Eastern countries in order to invest themselves in Kerala markets having a potential of bulk production to meet upto their needs. The South East Asian pineapples live longer than the Kerala pineapple giving them a upper hand in export market.
Kerala’s pineapple market got a stronghold to catch on to t=when a local variety of the fruit grown by the farmers of Vazhakulam got the international standards under Geographical Indication (GI) tag. The labelling was a boon to the pineapple market in Kerala and extra label to the already branded ‘Vazhakulam pineapple’ could take the pineapple market of Kerala to even higher heights. Ever since then al the pineapples grown in the State were nicknamed ‘Vazhakulam pineapples.’
Ismail Rawther, director of Kerala Pineapple Mission said, “Our product is far superior in taste to others and we have decided to give this product a branding. Unless we do it, we just cannot compete and for that we will soon look out for a brand ambassador.” He also added, “”While the market price for the farmer here ranges between Rs.15 and Rs.25, the cost of production hovers around Rs.20. In South East Asian countries, the cost of production is just Rs.10.”
If Kerala is lucky enough to attract the middle eastern countries with their value added products like dry fruits that would be long enough to leap to a total revenue five times than that of the current earnings.