KOCHI: Facing a deep financial crisis, the pineapple farmers in Kerala have demanded to write off interest on their loans and restructure all existing loans without interest rates for the next two years.
All Kerala Pineapple Farmers Association president James George said the farmers and the labourers in the pineapple sector are incurring a loss of Rs 5 crore per day, and the losses since March following the Covid lockdown are to the tune of Rs 300 crore.
The association also demanded the procurement price of pineapple be raised to Rs 25 in proportion to the cost of production. A subsidy of Rs 10 per kg for the fruit which was produced during this season was also sought.
According to the pineapple farmers’ body, immediate start of operations of the presently defunct Vazhakulam Agro and Fruit Processing Company in Nadukkara is also the need of the hour. “Licences should also be given to small-time entrepreneurs to produce wine and low-alcohol liquor from pineapple,” said Jojo Joseph, secretary of the association.