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Pineapple Industry

Pineapple Industry

Standardization of technology to bring down cost of production of fresh pineapple and its adoption by growers, assured market for the produce and to produce pineapple throughout the year may go a long way in promoting pineapple industry in India.

The bulk of the world production of pineapple is used by canning industry and the trade in fresh fruits is limited. About 97% of the world output is utilized by processing industry. Among the canned fruits, pineapples are important next only to peaches. Utilization of pineapple produced in India does not follow world pattern. Though pineapple is an excellent material to be preserved in different forms; bulk of the pineapple produced in the country is consumed in fresh form, the production used for processing being less than 10%. This is in contrast to the principal producing countries, where over 95% of the pineapple is absorbed by the processing industry.

The processing industry for pineapple is not very well developed in India. Major constraints in processing of pineapple are as follows :

i)   High cost of canning due to high cost of fruit, sugar, containers and overheads.

ii)  Non-availability of fruits throughout the year.

Marketing of fresh pineapple also poses problems due to its highly perishable nature. Mature pineapple fruits cannot be stored for more than 4-5 days after harvesting. Therefore, it is necessary to take ample care to avoid any injury to fruits while transporting to major consumption centres.

Steps like regulation of markets for pineapple and integration of production, marketing and processing activities would go a long way in decreasing marketing cost and thereby encouraging cultivators for self marketing. In recent times, grower’s marketing co-operatives have come into service in Kerala, Karnataka, Orissa, Assam and Manipur to undertake marketing of fresh pineapple.

Development of infra-structural facilities (transport and communications), primary markets, improvement in packing, storage and handling facilities, subsidization of inputs are the various aspects which need attention

Vazhakulam Agro and Fruit Processing Company

Under the Kerala Horticulture Development Programme, Nadukkara Agro Processing Company Limited (NAPCL), a modern fruit processing factory, for the commercial processing of pineapple, mango and other fruits was established in the heart of Kerala’s Pineapple growing area Nadukkara, Avoly panchayat near Muvattupuzha in 2000 at a cost of Rs.21.5 crores. NAPCL was established as a public limited company with 582 farmers holding 70% share and the Government of Kerala 30% share. The plant has a state of the art technology and the latest equipment because of the support from the European Union during the initial period. The factory has aseptic packaging as well as canning units. NAPCL has ISO 9002/HACCP certifications and its own brand of pineapple juice called "JIVE" and can process 70 t of pineapple per day. The company initially produced 200 ml Jive tetra-pack, 256 kg dump bag juice concentrate, besides ginger candy. Today, company markets seven different types of natural cool drinks under Jive brand without using any preservatives. They have become very popular as ‘the drinks of nature’. The Jive plant has a production capacity of 6000 packs/hour. Capacity utilization is much more efficient as the factory also processes mangoes during off-season of pineapple. NAPCL also provides for contract processing to other processors in the private sector. The company procures pineapple from the market when the price goes below a threshold level so as to maintain a reasonably good market price. The company has 92 employees and provides employment to another 150 indirectly. NAPCL organizes trainings and seminars for farmers for the popularisation of pineapple and promotes MD2 pineapple variety for cultivation to meet the challenges of global competition in the WTO regime. The company has also taken initiative for getting GI indication registered for Vazhakulam Pineapple. NAPCL has recently commissioned an ‘integrated pack home for export of fresh pineapple’ with facility for pre-cooling, packing, branding and certificate labeling having a capacity of 700 t/day at a cost of Rs.3.7 crores fully funded by APEDA. It has recorded a growth rate of 500% during the last 5 years.

NAPCL was taken over by state government and functioned in the name of Nadukkara Agro Processing Factory (NAPF) for some time. It is being renamed as Vazhakulam Agro and Fruit Processing Company with a proposed share holding of 51% by Government of Kerala, 30% by farmers and 19% by VFPCK, out of 10,000 shares in total. Vazhakulam Agro and Fruit Processing Company can be contacted over phone: 0485-2261547, 2261451, Email: napcjive@gmail.com, jiveagrofruit@gmail.com and Website: www.napcl.com

Guidelines and action plan for comprehensive development of pineapple sector


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Pineapple Research Station
Kerala Agricultural University
Ernakulam Kerala 686670