Average annual production of pineapples in Kerala. Around 400,000 tonnes is GI-tagged Vazhakkulam pineapple (Mauritius grade) and the rest is the MD2 variety. The state contributes around 4% of India's total pineapple production.
Land used for cultivation of pineapples in the state. 160,000 hectares is used for growing the GI-tagged Vazhakkulam pineapple (Mauritius grade) variety. 90% of the cultivation is carried out on leased lands.
Major varieties of pineapple are grown in the state - GI-tagged Vazhakkulam pineapple (Mauritius grade) and the globally accepted MD2 variety because of its better suitability for processing and extended shelf-life.
Estimated number of pineapple growers that are directly connected to the cultivation of the fruit in the state. An increasing number of planters have opted out of rubber farming in the backdrop of the fall in the price of the crop, according to Jose Varghese, a pineapple merchant at Vazhakkulam. He added that the rise in demand from upcountry markets had boosted harvesting too, as farmers are seeing an opportunity to get remunerative prices.
Rs. 800 crore
Estimated annual revenue from pineapple cultivation in the state, according to Baby John, Executive Director, Pineapple Growers and Processing Company Ltd. Pineapple cultivation has emerged as an agri-business in Kerala.
Percentage of pineapple cultivated in Kerala that is exported. Majority of the produce goes into the fresh fruit segment in the domestic market, where the demand is around 100 tonnes a day during festival seasons and 60-70 tonnes in other seasons.
Annual produce from Vazhakulam, located on the western edge of Ernakulam district and known as Kerala’s pineapple country. Within a 20-km radius of the modest town, nearly 3500 farmers cultivate the tropical fruit on about 8,000 acres. Even the air here on the main street of the town carries a whiff of the locally-grown, GI-tagged variety known as ‘Kannarachakka’, which has a rough, spiny marking shaped as ‘fruit eyes’.