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Tripura launches integrated pack house for grading and packing of horti products, eyes to boost exports

The state has already exported queen pineapples, lemons and jackfruits to West Asia, Germany, Europe and South East Asia countries such as Bangladesh apart from exporting to different states in India.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala |
Updated: June 29, 2022 2:52:32 pm
The pack house, which is expected to boost the exports, involves technological inputs to wash, treat, dry, sort, grade, pack horticulture products and seal them in cartons before shifting them to a loading area. (Express Photo)

Tripura Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha has said his government aims at doubling farmer income through value addition and boosting exports.

“Our products are going abroad. Farmers will be benefitted. We are looking at increasing the exports and unless there is an increase in products, the financial perspective is there to consider,” the CM said, while inaugurating the second Horticulture Integrated Pack House in the northeastern region at Agartala Tuesday.

Tripura CM Manik Saha inaugurated the second Horticulture Integrated Pack House in the northeastern region at Agartala Tuesday. (Express Photo)

Tripura earlier exported its queen pineapples, lemons and jackfruits to West Asia, Germany, Europe, and south-east Asian countries like Bangladesh apart from different states in India.

The pack house, which is expected to boost the exports, involves technological inputs to wash, treat, dry, sort, grade, pack horticulture products and seal them in cartons before shifting them to a loading area.

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Tripura grows an estimated 1.28 lakh MT pineapples every year in over 8,800 hectare orchards across districts. (Express Photo)

Nagicherra Horticulture Research Complex in-charge Dr Rajib Ghosh said that the processing and packaging of citrus fruits, jackfruits and pineapples were earlier done in traditional methods manually. With the introduction of the mechanised processing and packing chain, things would be faster and more efficient, he said.

The integrated pack house launched at Agartala was set up at a cost of Rs 2.73 crore, against the budget requirement of Rs 5 crore or above, since an existing infrastructure was repurposed and upgraded to cut costs.

The integrated pack house launched at Agartala was set up at a cost of Rs 2.73 crore. (Express Photo)

The installation was set up under RKVY funds of the Government of India. It can handle 10 MT products in a single shift and runs for 12 hours in a shift.

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Union Minister of state for agriculture Kailash Chaudhury said the pack house is a part of the central government’s continued efforts to boost agriculture and horticulture.

“The central government is putting extra efforts on North-East India. This region has a lot of potential in agriculture sector. People used to import horticulture products earlier. Now they are exporting elsewhere. There are organic products coming out of here. I’ve been visiting farmers. This pack house will bring integral change in their lives. It will make the farmers Atmanirbhar,” the union minister.

The installation was set up under RKVY funds of the Government of India. (Express Photo)

Earlier in February, Tripura announced to start work-in-mission mode over the next five years to promote the growth of pineapples and jackfruits for facilitating their export to foreign countries after their “augmented” growth figures were still behind the expected numbers.

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However, the pineapples are not yet grown in sufficient quantities so as to popularise them in foreign destinations, owing to which the ambitious mission-mode project was decided to boost production figures.

Among the different initiatives to boost pineapple growth, the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) centre of Tripura designed a high-density weed resistant, climate-resilient pineapple cultivation technology to intensify pineapple cultivation in the state in July, 2021.

Tripura grows an estimated 1.28 lakh MT pineapples every year in over 8,800 hectare orchards across districts. Some of these orchards are run by the government, but most of them are owned by private parties. Over 4,000 pineapple growers are directly connected to the cultivation of the fruit in the state.

Traders on the ground say the business isn’t really great as a single piece of the fruit costs Rs 38-39 from wholesale dealers, who can sell it at Rs 59 at best. Calculating the damage, rot and other factors, the profits do not stay very high, Ashim Deb, a pineapple trader at Jogendranagar area of Agartala city, said.

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First published on: 29-06-2022 at 02:52:18 pm

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