1.                  INTRODUCTION


Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is one of the commercially important fruit crops of India. Total annual world production is estimated at 14.6 million tonnes of fruits. India is the fifth largest producer of pineapple with an annual output of about 1.2 million tonnes. Other leading producers are Thailand, Philippines, Brazil, China, Nigeria, Mexico, Indonesia, Colombia and USA.


2.                  OBJECTIVE
The main objective of this report is to present a bankable one acre model for high quality commercial cultivation of the crop. 
3.                  BACKGROUND
3.1              Origin

Cultivation of pineapple originated in Brazil and gradually spread to other tropical parts of the world. Pineapple cultivation was introduced to India by Portuguese in 1548 AD.


3.2              Area & Production


The area under pineapple cultivation in India increased by 35% from 57 thousand ha. in 1991-92 to 77 thousand ha. in 2001-02 whereas the production increased by 54% from 8 lakh tonnes to 12 lakh tonnes. The states where pineapple is grown include Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Manipur, West Bengal, Kerala, Karnataka and Goa. The other states where it is grown on a small scale are Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. (Vide Table 1)















Table 1 : State-wise Area, Production & Productivity of

pineapple during 2001-02




(‘000 Ha.)


(‘000 MT)



West Bengal












































Source : Database of National Horticulture Board, Ministry of Agriculture ,

Govt. of India.


3.3              Economic Importance
The fruit is a good source of vitamin A,B,C and also calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron. It is also a good source of bromelin, a digestive enzyme. It is consumed fresh or in the form of juice, jam, squash and syrup. Among all forms, canned slices and juice are in much demand in India, constituting about 70% of the production.


4.1              Demand and Supply patterns
Pineapple is mostly consumed fresh. There is large demand of pineapple products within the country. Bulk of the total production is consumed in institutional sector namely defence, hotels and airlines. Household consumption of these products is very limited. 


4.2              Export/Import trends


The major exporting countries of fresh pineapple are Philippines, Mexico, Brazil, Taiwan, Malaysia and South Africa. Leading importing countries are France, Japan, USA, Italy, Germany, Spain, UK and Canada.

The trend in export of fresh pineapples from India has increased considerably from 138 tonnes in 1999-2000 to 837 tonnes in 2001-02.(Vide Graph 3)


Table-2 : Country-wise export of  pineapple from India during 2001-02.






(Rs.  in lakhs)




Saudi Arabia



























 Source : APEDA, New Delhi



U.A.E., Saudi Arabia, Oman, Nepal are some of the important countries importing pineapple from India. Even though pineapple exports have been showing an upward trend, there is no consistency in our exports which is not a desirable feature, as continuous supply to a market is one of the foremost pre-requisites for successful exports. About 70% of the produce was exported during 2001-02.


4.3              Analysis and Future Strategy


Standardization of technology to bring down cost of production of fresh pineapple and its adoption by growers, assured market for the produce and to produce pineapple throughout the year may go a long way in promoting pineapple industry in India.


The bulk of the world production of pineapple is used by canning industry and the trade in fresh fruits is limited. About 97% of the world output is utilized by processing industry. Among the canned fruits, pineapples are important next only to peaches. Utilization of pineapple produced in India does not follow world pattern. Though pineapple is an excellent material to be preserved in different forms; bulk of the pineapple produced in the country is consumed in fresh form, the production used for processing being less than 10%. This is in contrast to the principal producing countries, where over 95% of the pineapple is absorbed by the processing industry.


The processing industry for pineapple is not very well developed in India. Major constraints in processing of pineapple are as follows :


i)                    High cost of canning due to high cost of fruit, sugar, containers and overheads.

ii)                   Non-availability of fruits throughout the year.


Marketing of fresh pineapple also poses problems due to its highly perishable nature. Mature pineapple fruits cannot be stored for more than 4-5 days after harvesting. Therefore, it is necessary to take ample care to avoid any injury to fruits while transporting to major consumption centres.


Steps like regulation of markets for pineapple and integration of production, marketing and processing activities would go a long way in decreasing marketing cost and thereby encouraging cultivators for self marketing. In recent times, grower’s marketing co-operatives have come into service in Kerala, Karnataka, Orissa, Assam and Manipur to undertake marketing of fresh pineapple.


Development of infra-structural facilities (transport and communications), primary markets, improvement in packing, storage and handling facilities, subsidization of inputs are the various aspects which need attention.


5.                  PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGY


5.1              Agro-climatic requirements


Pineapple is suitable for cultivation in humid tropics. The fruit grows well near the sea coast as well as in the interior; so long the temperatures are not extreme. The optimum temperature required for successful cultivation is 220-320 C. High temperature at night is deleterious for the growth of the plant and a difference of at least 40 C between day and night temperature is desirable. It can be grown upto 1,000 m. above sea level, if the area is frost free. The rainfall requirement ranges between 100-150 cm.


Sandy loam soils with pH between 5.0-6.0 is ideal for the growth of the plants.


5.2              Growing and Potential Belts

The cultivation of pineapple is confined to high rainfall and humid coastal regions in the peninsular India and hilly areas of north-eastern region of the country. It can also be grown commercially in the interior plains with medium rainfall and supplementary irrigations.



The state-wise growing belts are given in the following :



Growing belts


Shimoga, North & South Kannada, Chickmagalore, Kodagu


Ernakulum, Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Idukki, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wynadu, Kannur, Kasargodu


Kohima, Zunheboto


Nagaon, Kamrup, Karbi Anglong, N.C. Hills, Goalpara, Dhemaji, Sonitpur Dhubri


Thoubal, Churchandpur, Imphal East


Ri Bhoi, East Khasi, Garo Hills

West Bengal

Jalpaiguri, Siliguri sub-division of Darjeeling district, North Dinajpur, Cooch Behar


5.3              Varieties Cultivated


Important varieties cultivated in different states of India are given below :




Varieties mostly grown

Assam & other N.E. states


Kew, Queen, Mauritius



Mauritius, Kew, Queen

West Bengal


Giant Kew, Queen


5.4              Land Preparation


The land is prepared for planting by ploughing or digging followed by leveling. Depending on the nature of land, trenches of convenient length, about 90 cm. width and 15-30 cm. depth are prepared.


5.5              Planting


5.5.1        Planting Material


Pineapple is usually propagated by sucker, slip and crown. These planting materials of 5-6 months age bear flowers after 12 months of planting except crowns which bear flowers after 19-20 months. Pineapple plants produced through tissue culture are also available for cultivation.


5.5.2        Treatment of Planting material


Planting material is dipped in ceresan solution (4 g. in 1 l. of water) or 0.2 % Dithane M-45 before planting to protect the plants against bud rot.


5.5.3        Planting season


The ideal time of planting is 12-15 months before the peak flowering season under natural conditions, which varies from December to March in different regions. Time of planting also varies from place to place depending upon the time of onset of the monsoon and the intensity of its precipitation. In Assam, planting should be done during August-October, while in Kerala and Karnataka; the best time of planting is April-June. Planting is usually avoided during the period of heavy rains. The ideal time for planting in northern part of West Bengal is October-November and June-July for other parts. Delaying in planting as late as September, delays crop at least by 7-9 months. The peak flowering period is from January to March.


5.5.4        Spacing


For commercial viability high density cultivation is recommended.  Planting density of 63,400 plants/ha. (22.5 x 60 x 75 cm.) is ideal for sub-tropical and mild humid conditions, whereas for hot and humid conditions a plant density of 53,300 plants/ha. spaced at 25 cm. from plant to plant within a row, 60 cm. from row to row and 90 cm. from trench to trench (25 x 60 x 90 cm.) provides high yield. In rainfed, high fertile and hilly areas in north eastern states, a somewhat lower density of 31,000 plants/ha. is recommended.


High Density Planting :


The yield of 70-105 tonnes/ha. may be obtained under high density planting , the increase in yield/unit area being 45-85 tonnes/ha. Less weed infestation , protection of fruits from sun burn, increased production of propagules (suckers and slips)/unit area and non-lodging of plants are added advantages of high density planting.


5.5.5        Planting Method


Four different planting systems viz. flat-bed, furrow, contour and trench are followed. System of planting varies according to land and rainfall. In the slopes, terracing or contour planting is adopted which helps to check soil erosion. Trench planting is usually followed in Kerala.


5.6              Nutrition


A dose of N, P2O5 and K2O at 12,4 and 12 g./plant/year respectively is optimum under Jorhat conditions. No response to P application has been observed. However, in the ratoon crop 4 g. P2O5/plant increases fruit weight and yield. Plants receiving 12 g.  K2O/plant/crop give higher yield without any adverse effect on fruit quality both under irrigated and rainfed conditions. For medium fertile soils in West Bengal, N (12-16g.), P2O5 (2-4g.) and K2O (10-12 g.)/plant are optimum. It is recommended to apply N and K2O each @ 12g./plant. There is no need for P application. However, if the soils are poor in P, 4g.  P2O5/plant can be applied. N should be applied in 6 split doses. The first dose of N can be given two months after planting and the last one 12 months after planting. The K should be applied in two split doses. Entire P and half of K can be given at the time of planting and the remaining K, 6 months after planting. Application of fertilizers under rainfed conditions should be done when moisture is available.


5.7              Irrigation


Pineapple is mostly cultivated under rainfed conditions. Supplementary irrigation helps to produce good sized fruits in areas having optimum rainfall. Irrigation also helps to establish an off-season planting to maintain its year round production. In case of scanty rainfall and hot weather, irrigation may be provided once in 20-25 days.


5.8              Intercultural Operations


Weeding is done at least three to four times in a year. Hand weeding can be partially eliminated by application of weedicides. Earthing up is an essential operation in pineapple cultivation aimed at good anchorage to the plants. Soon after harvest, earthing up is done leaving one to two suckers only.  Weeds are effectively controlled by application of diuron (@ 2 kg./ha.) or a combination of Bromacil and diuron @ 2 kg./ha. each as pre-emergent spray and repeated with half of the dose , 5 months after first application.


5.9              Mulching


Dry leaves or straw is used as a mulching material. Mulching with black polythene and saw dust has been found to be effective. The maturing fruits may be covered with rice straw or pineapple leaves in order to reduce both sun burn and damage caused by the birds.

5.10          Growth regulators
Application of NAA and related compounds viz. Planofix and Celemone @ 10-20 ppm. induces flowering in pineapple. Application of NAA (200-300 ppm.), two to three months after fruit set increases 15-20% fruit size. To get year round availability of pineapple it should be planned at regular intervals round the year. The application of 50 ml. solution/plant containing calcium carbide (20g./litre) or Ethrel (0.25 ml./l.) causes flower induction. 
5.11          Removal of suckers, slips and crowns
Suckers start growing with the emergence of inflorescence, whereas slips grow with the developing fruits. The fruit weight increases with increasing number of suckers/plant, while the increased number of slips delays fruit maturity. Crown size has no bearing on the fruit weight or quality. Hence desuckering can be delayed as much as possible, while the slips are recommended to be removed as soon as they attain the size required for planting. Removal of crown is not required as it mars the appeal of the fruit and also makes handling difficult. Partial pinching of crown consisting of the removal of the innermost whorl of leaflets along with growing tips 45 days after fruit set is ideal to get fruits of better size and shape.
5.12          Plant Protection Measures
5.12.1    Insect Pests
Pineapple is usually free from pests except infestation of mealy bugs and scale insects in sporadic cases.
5.12.2    Diseases


Diseases are not common except stem rot in case of pineapple. Control measures include good drainage and dipping the suckers in Boradeaux mixture before planting.


5.13          Harvesting  and Yield


Pineapple plants flower 12-15 months after planting and the fruits become ready 15-18 months after planting depending upon the variety, time of planting, type and size of plant material used and prevailing temperature during the fruit development. Under natural conditions, pineapple comes to harvest during May-August. The fruit usually ripens about 5 months after flowering. Irregular flowering results in the harvesting spread over a long period. In order to get uniform flowering (over 80%) in the main season, Ethrel (@ 100 ppm.) solution is applied to plants one month before flowering.


The fruits are harvested for canning purpose when there is a slight change at the base of developing fruits. The fruits used for table purpose are retained till they develop golden yellow colour.


The plant crop after harvest can be retained as ratoon crop for three to four years depending upon the soil condition. Ratooning in high density planting reveals that the average fruit weight in the first and second ratoon is 88% and 79% respectively of the plant crop. The plant stand is also reduced gradually resulting in the reduction of fruit yield by 49 and 46% (approx.) in first and second ratoon crops respectively.


The average yield is 50-80 tonnes/ha. depending upon spacing and cultural practices.


6.                  POST HARVEST MANAGEMENT


6.1              Grading


Fruits are graded on the basis of their weight, size and colour.


6.2              Storage


Fruits with crown can be kept without damage for 10-15 days after harvesting. When fruits are transported to long distances or for a period of several days, refrigerated transport is required to slow down ripening process. Pineapples can be stored well for a period of 20 days when refrigerated at 10-130 C. The best storage is at 7.20 C and 80 or 90% relative humidity.


6.3              Packing


Fruits are packed in baskets woven with bamboo strips. For local markets, the fruits are arranged in baskets (each weighing 20-25 kg.) lined with paddy straw to stand on their stumps. The second layer of fruits is arranged on the crowns of the first layer of fruits. For distant markets, fruits are wrapped individually with paddy straw and then packed.




6.4              Transportation


Road transport by trucks/lorries is the most popular mode of transport due to easy approach from orchards to the market.  


6.5              Marketing


The growers usually dispose off their produce at the farm gate to the middlemen. Majority of the cultivators sell their crop either through trade agents at village level or commission agents at the market.


7.                  TECHNOLOGY SOURCES


Major sources for technology are:


i)                    Assam Agriculture University, Jorhat.

ii)                   Kerala Agriculture University, Vellanikkara, Thrissur, Kerala-680654.

iii)                 College of Horticulture, Vellanikkara, Thrissur, Kerala-680654.

iv)                 University of Agricultural Scineces, GKVK, Bangalore-560065, Karnataka.

v)                  Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Hassaraghatta, Lake Post, Bangalore-560089, Karnataka.

vi)                 Progressive growers of West Bengal, Kerala, Assam and Karnataka.


8.                  ECONOMICS OF A ONE ACRE MODEL


8.1              High quality commercial cultivation of the crop by using suckers as planting material leads to multiple benefits viz.


·                     Synchronized  growth;

·                     Reduction in variation of off-type and non-fruit plants;

·                     Improved fruit quality;

·                     Increase in productivity;

·                     Greater economy and efficiency in irrigation.


Costs & Returns


8.2              One acre plantation of the crop is a viable proposition.  The cost components of such a model along with the basis for costing are given in Annexures I & II.   A summary is given in the figure below.  The project cost works out to Rs.1.50 lakhs.




Project Cost: Unit One Acre

                                                                                                                  (Amount in Rs.)

Sl. No.


Proposed Expenditure


Cultivation Expenses




Cost of planting material




Manures & fertilizers




Insecticides & pesticides




Cost of Labour




Others, if any, (Power)











Tube-well/submersible pump




Cost of Pipeline




Others, if any (Power Charges)







Cost of Drip/Sprinkler







Store & Pump House




Labour room




Agriculture Equipments




Others, if any, (Please specify)







Land Development




Soil leveling












Others, if any, please specify







Land, if newly purchased (Please indicate the year)*



Grand Total


         *Cost of newly purchased land will be limited to one-tenth of the total project cost



8.3              The major components of the model are:


·                     Land Development:  (Rs.2.10 thousand):  This is the labour cost of shaping and dressing the land site.

·                     Fencing (Rs.29.58 thousand):  It is necessary to guard the orchard by barbed wire fencing to safeguard the valuable produce from poaching.

·                     Irrigation Infra-structure (Rs.40.00 thousand):  It is necessary to install a bore well with diesel/electric pumpset and motor.  This is part cost of tube-well.

·                     Drip Irrigation & Fertigation System (Rs.20.00 thousand):  This is based on average cost of one acre drip system for pineapple inclusive of the cost of fertigation equipment.  The actual cost will vary depending on location, plant population and plot geometry.

·                     Equipment/Implements (Rs.5.00 thousand):  For investment on improved manually operated essential implements a provision of another Rs. 5.0 thousand is included.

·                     Building and Storage (Rs.20.00 thousand):  A five acre orchard would require minimally a labour shed and a store-cum grading/packing room and pump house.

·                     Cost of Cultivation (Rs.33.33 thousand):  Land preparation and sowing operations will involve tractor hiring and manual labour, the cost of which will come to Rs.4.73 thousand.  The cost of planting material works out to Rs.13.0 thousand.


8.4              Labour cost has been put at an average of Rs.70 per man-day.  The actual cost will vary from location to location depending upon minimum wage levels or prevailing wage levels for skilled and unskilled labour.


8.5              Recurring Production Cost:            Recurring production costs are exhibited in Annexure III.  The main components are planting material, inputs application (fertilizers, liming material, micro-nutrients, plant growth regulators, plant protection chemicals etc.), labour cost on application of inputs, inter-cultural and other farm operations and power.


8.6              Besides, provision is included for labour on harvesting and packing/transportation charges for the produce to the nearest secondary market.  The total recurring production cost for a one acre orchard works out as below:




                                    Year 1                                       20.33

                                    Year 2                                        46.30

                                    Year 3                                        40.30

                                    Year 4                                                 


8.7              Returns from the Project:  The yield from the plantation is estimated at 25.0 tonnes (per acre) in the second year declining to 20.0 tonnes in the third year (vide Annexure III).  Valued at Rs. 5000 per tonne the total realization works out to Rs.2.25 lakhs.


Project Financing


8.8.            Balance Sheet:  The projected balance sheet of the model is given at Annexure IV.  There would be three sources of financing the project as below:


                                    Source                                                   Rs.Thousand


                                    Farmer’s share                                                 75.00

                                    Capital subsidy                                                 30.00

                                    Term loan                                                          45.00

                                    Total                                                                150.00


8.9.            Profit & Loss Account:  The cash flow statement may be seen in Annexure V while Annexure VI projects the profit and loss account of the model.  Gross profit for three years project cycle works out to Rs.86.60 thousand.


8.10.        Repayment of Term Loan:   The term loan will be repaid in 11 six monthly equated installments of Rs.4.09 thousand each with a moratorium of 18 months.  The rate of interest would have to be negotiated with the financing bank. It has been put at 12% in the model (vide Annexure VII).  The repayment schedule is given at Annexure-VII A.


8.11.        Annexure VIII gives depreciation calculations.


Project Viability:


8.12.        IRR/BCR:  The viability of the project is assessed in Annexure IX over a period of 5 years.  The IRR works out to 24.77 and the BCR to 1.6.


8.13.        The Debt Service coverage ratio calculations are presented in Annexure X.  The average DSCR works out to 4.45.


8.14.        Payback Period:  On the basis of costs and returns of the model, the pay back period is estimated at 3.45 years (vide Annexure XI). 


8.15.        Break-even Point:  The break even point will be reached in the 3rd year.  At this point fixed cost would work out to 60.7% of gross sales - vide Annexure XII.