Insight Online News /By Shivangi
Agartala, Feb 23 : With the encouraging response from the farmers and demand in the international market over the past three years, the Tripura government on Wednesday announced to set up a Pineapple and Jackfruit Mission for the next five years to develop a horti-based business model for a sustainable rural economy.
The Spokesperson of the Tripura government Sushanta Chowdhury said the state cabinet headed by Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Tuesday agreed to the proposal in this regard at the cost of Rs 153 crore, which will support the cultivation of the produces, value addition of the products and chain a forward market link.
The pineapple production in Tripura has increased manifolds since 2019 after Biplab Deb led government impetus on exporting the fruit to UK and Middle East countries along with supplying to Indian cities. The area under pineapples cultivation rose double and last year over 8,800 hectares of land were brought for production and around 4,000 farmers were directly involved in growing the fruit.
Last year, for the first time Tripura sent 350 jackfruits weighing between 3 and 4 kg to England on commercial scale for which the farmers had earned Rs 30 per piece. The state has abandoned jackfruit, known as the best staple food of summer and has not gone outside except for informal trade with Bangladesh and a smaller quantity to Assam and Mizoram.
Around 8700 hectares of area in Tripura have been under jackfruit cultivation as of now and the production was about 2.56 lakh MT last year. The tender jackfruit and the seeds of mature one is a popular vegetable in the state while ripen jackfruits are consumed as fruit, a rich source of carbohydrates, carotene, pectin, calories, calcium, potassium and vitamin A.
Chowdhury said the Tripura Pineapple and Jackfruit Mission has been undertaken for five years, beginning from April 2022 and continuing till March 2027. However, the duration of the Mission can further be extended after reviewing and measuring its success in achieving the objectives primarily focused on processing and marketing of these fruits to push up exports.
Highlighting the budgetary estimates for the Mission, the minister underlined that out of the estimated Rs 153 Cr, the state government will provide Rs 10 Cr while the remaining amount will be managed from the convergence of funds of different agencies.