Kishanganj Pineapple

Kishanganj district, located on the foothills of the Himalayas is famous for its jute and paddy. In recent years, small and marginal farmers of this district have started cultivating tea and pineapple that are much sought-after in the markets of Delhi, Lucknow, Meerut, Varanasi, West Bengal and others.

 

Kishanganj has the ideal agro-climatic conditions (very deep, fine-loamy soil, hot summers, heavy rainfall in the monsoon and cool winters) for pineapple cultivation. It is estimated that Kew or Giant Kew (also known as Raja) and Queen varieties are grown in over 5000 acres of land in this district alone.

 

Though the Kew variety is the popular commercial variety suitable for canning purposes, farmers find the Queen variety to be a desirable table fruit and preferred in the preparation of juices, concentrates, squashes, pulps, jams, jellies, candy, dehydrated slices, bakery products and confectionery.

 

Pineapple is grown in Kishanganj in the organic manner with farmers relying on age-old techniques to deal with pest attacks and diseases. Cow manure and cow urine is liberally used to enrich the soil. This is why Kishanganj pineapples have a vibrant golden yellow colour, are extremely sweet and juicy with a heady aroma. A lot of local delicacies are prepared using fresh pineapples from this district.

 

Farmers will benefit immensely from the Tissue Culture Lab in Dr. Kalam Agricultural College that is in the works. The aim of this lab is to provide farmers with disease-free pineapple plants that will produce high-quality fruit in lesser time (normally, it takes 16 to 18 months for the pineapple to be harvested but the new plants will produce fruits in 12 months), are cost-effective, will increase area under cultivation and productivity per hectare.

 

Kishanganj pineapple is an excellent source of Vitamin A, B and C, magnesium, potassium and iron. Juices, jams, syrups and squashes made from this pineapple have become increasingly popular in North and Central India.

 

Cluster-based processing units will go a long way to enrich the rural economy, generate employment and open the state up for more investment from foreign countries and research centres to increase exports.

 

Written by Lakshmi Subramanian

 

* Photos are only symbolic (Taken from public domain/internet and any copyright infringement is unintentional and regrettable)

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