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Using Kisan Rail, farmers move GI-tagged Vazhakkulam pineapple to Delhi

Utilising the opportunities offered by Kisan Rail in moving cargoes, All Kerala Pineapple Farmers Association has dispatched a consignment of GI-tagged Vazhakkulam pineapple from Kochi to Delhi by rail for the first time.

Less transport time

Normally, pineapple is being sent to North India by road in trucks which would take five days to reach Delhi; while by rail, it will reach the destination in 50 hours and ensure fresher fruits to the consumer.

James George Thottumariyil, President of the association, said that they have sent 2.5 tonnes of the fruit in Delhi-bound Nizamuddin Express from Ernakulam South Railway station. The consignment is sent to Diem Agro LLP, an agri business start-up incubated at Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, and funded by RKVY-RAFTAAR scheme under the Agriculture Ministry.

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Diem Agro is developing an online marketplace for fruit and vegetable farmers to market their produce to inter-State buyers, especially for pineapple farmers in Kerala.

“With this new initiative, we can offer fresher fruits to the market and if the experiment succeeds, we have big plans to send bigger consignments regularly,” he said.

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Good market in North

According to George, the GI-tagged Vazhakulam Pineapple is always getting attractive trade queries from north India and State Horticulture Mission-Kerala and the Railways have offered attractive incentives to send bigger consignments.

Presently, farmers in Kerala cultivate pineapple on around 18,000 hectares and produce 5.5 lakh tonnes of the fruit.