Pineapple is mostly cultivated under rain fed conditions. Supplementary irrigation helps to produce good sized fruits in areas having optimum rainfall.
Weeding is done at least three to four times in a year. Hand weeding can be partially eliminated by application of weedicides. 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.
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.
Plant Protection Measures
Pineapple is usually free from pests except infestation of mealy bugs and scale insects in sporadic cases.
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.
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. 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 average yield is 50-80 tonnes/ha. depending upon spacing and cultural practices.
POST HARVEST MANAGEMENT
Fruits are graded on the basis of their weight, size and colour.
Fruits with crown can be kept without damage for 10-15 days after harvesting. 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.
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.
Road transport by trucks/lorries is the most popular mode of transport due to easy approach from orchards to the market.
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.
Ref : Horticulture Department – Government Of India
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