The nascent food processing industry in Kerala is happy at the measure of 100% FDI through FIPB route in the marketing of food products manufactured in India, announced in the Union Budget. The state is a significant producer of pineapple, banana and jackfruit majority of which are now going unprocessed.
The state produces 3.25 lakh tonnes of pineapple, which is mostly grown as inter-crop in rubber plantations. At a time when rubber prices have crashed, the fruit provides alternate income to the rubber growers. “At present about 7000 tonnes out of 3.25 lakh tonnes is going for processing outside the state. With 100% FDI, this can be raised to even 50,000 tonnes, which will help in maintaining a remunerative price for the pineapple farmers especially when there is a glut in the market,” said Baby John, former president of Pineapple Farmers Association.