Indian pineapple growers are keen to switch at least a part of their holdings from the dominant Mauritius variety to the MD2, as the former fruits can be easily processed and have a longer shelf life.
Joe Jose Joseph, secretary of the Pineapple Farmers’ Association at Muvattupuzha -Kerala-, said farmers were given a presentation on the MD2 variety recently as part of the pineapple festival at Kalloorkkad. The presentation also dwelt on the advantages of the variety.
According to farmers, there is widespread interest in the MD2 variety. If at least 20% of the crop is shifted, there will be a marked difference in the business.
One of the problems for the farmers is the availability of suckers. T. Maya, scientist in-charge of the Vazhakkulam Pineapple Research Station, said Kerala Agricultural University had been developing tissue culture suckers since 2008. However, the cost was a factor that was keeping farmers away from buying them. A government package would be helpful for the farmers, she said.