• Thursday, Nov 26, 2020
  • Last Update : 11:31 pm

Chemical-free pineapple growers counting losses for weak demand

  • Published at 07:31 pm September 5th, 2014

Farmers growing pineapples without chemical and hormone additives are facing mounting losses because demand for their product is proving to be weak.

Consumers prefer large, bright pineapples but naturally grown fruit is not as large or brightly coloured as its chemically-treated competitor.

Madhupur pineapples, once famous for their flavour and juiciness, have lost their original flavour because of the unrestricted use of growth hormones and chemicals.

Many farmers spray growth boosting chemicals on pineapple flowers to produce larger-than-usual fruit and then apply hormones to immature fruit to artificially ripen them and ready them for harvesting.

Md Aziz Ullah, deputy director of Tangail Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), told the Dhaka Tribune that pineapples were being grown on 7,612 hectares of land this year in the district’s Madhupur upazila and Ghatail upazila.

Sanower Hossain, who is growing hormone and chemical-free pineapples in Mohishmara village under Madhupur upazila on six bighas of land, said, “consumers do not like our produce because of its size and colour. We are selling our fruit at half the price of chemically-enhanced fruit.”

“Because our pineapples mature naturally, we need to harvest it every day as they ripen. We cannot harvest more than 50 or 60 pineapples a day. So we have to hire labour every day to harvest the fruit and get it to market, raising production costs,” he said.

“We are still harvesting pineapples from our fields even now, but those who sprayed their fruits with chemicals and hormones sold off their produce when the price was high,” said Sanower.

Another farmer, Lokman Hossain, who planted chemical and hormone-free pineapples on 8 bighas of land said, “I am selling my fruits at Tk12 to Tk14 per piece while chemically treated pineapples sold at Tk20 to Tk25 per piece.”

He said he was sad that consumers only looked at the size and colour without comparing the flavour of chemically-treated fruit and naturally grown fruit.

Tangail civil surgeon Dr Sayed Ibne Saied said: “All kinds of chemicals are harmful for health. It destroys the resistance power of the body. It may damage our kidneys and liver.”

Deputy Commissioner of Tangail Md Mahbub Hossain said: “We have taken some steps to discourage farmers from using hormones and chemicals to enlarge and ripen their fruit. We have instructed agriculture officers and Upazila Nirbahi Officers to raise awareness among pineapple wholesalers, consumers and the sellers of agro-chemicals.”

“Leaflets will be distributed and mobile courts will be used when appropriate,” the DC said. 

blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail