Tripura, July 11: Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb sent 100 cartons of Kew pineapples as a return gift to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who had sent him Haribhanga mangoes last week.
“There are 100 packets and each packet has four pineapples each weighing 700 to 800 grams. Therefore, there are around 700-800 a kilogram of pineapples which we handed over to Udot Jha, Assistant High Commissioner of India, Chittagong, Bangladesh. They will be handed over to the Prime Minister (Bangladesh) tomorrow. The pineapples are the Kew variety,” said Toroni Kanta Chakma, director of Industry and Commerce, Tripura.
The pineapples have been brought from Ampi, a bordering village in the Gomati district in Tripura.
The state cultivates two varieties of pineapples — Queen and Kew — from mid-May to mid-September. Queen Pineapple is spiny, golden yellow in colour, and has a pleasant aroma and flavour at the ripening stage. The average weight of the fruit varies from 600 gm to 800 gm. Kew pineapples are spineless large size fruit weighing from 1.5 kg to 3 kg.
Farmers have pioneered pineapple cultivation in Tripura. There’s a belief that any crop may fail in an unfavourable circumstance but pineapple is viable, providing substantial income year after year; “pineapple would never betray“.
This popular belief of Darlongs, a small tribe in the state, residing in the Nalkata area of Kumarghat Block of North Tripura district, 140 km off Agartala, is still instrumental in ensuring bumper pineapple crops in their hamlet.
The productivity of pineapple per hectare in Tripura is 18.73 tonnes, which is higher than the national average of 15.80 tonnes. The Dhalai district, another buffer zone of pineapple cultivation records the highest yield per hectare production in the state with 21.88 tonnes.
President Ram Nath Kovind had declared the queen variety of pineapple as the state’s fruit during his visit to Agartala in 2018.