Pineapple Production Technology - A Venture For Meghalaya Farmers

Pineapple Production Technology - A Venture For Meghalaya Farmers

Meghalaya is located in one of the most beautiful places in India. Regardless of the modern technology, the aura of the place remains pleasant with sun kissed weather and cloudy skies. It is blessed with tropical, semi-tropical and temperate climates, it has a perfect ambiance for a variety of horticultural crops to grow.

This special factor is reflected in the extensive cultivation of orange, pineapple, turmeric, ginger and other indigenous fruits and vegetables in the state.

Ripened pineapple meghalaya

Among these fruits, the pineapple fruit, scientifically called Ananas comosus, is abundantly grown in various parts of Meghalaya, specially in Ri-bhoi District. The West Garo Hills District in Meghalaya ranks second in pineapple production.

In the West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya, the Garo tribe is a predominant tribal community. Besides that, other tribes like the Hajong, Koch, Rabha. Meghalaya has about 9.7 (‘000) hectares of land under pineapple cultivation with a production unit of 86(‘000) metric tons during the year 2010-2011 (Indian Horticulture Database, 2011).

Meghalaya contributes to about 6.1 % of the total pineapple produced in India. West Garo Hills occupies an area of around 2825 ha with 23497 metric tons of production during the year 2008-09 (District at a Glance 2009-2010). (source)

pineapple plantation Ribhoi district

Although, the state has large areas of land under pineapple cultivation, the productivity is comparatively low, due to lack of production technologies. Another reason, which may be the cause, is that the farmers from Meghalaya are traditional and continue to practice age-old methods of farming.

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New paradigms of farming may be required for traditional famers of Meghalaya to solve the problems related to the production of pineapple and marketing their produce. And adoption of such recommended farming methods and related technologies may help in increasing the production of pineapple in Meghalaya.

There are government and non-government organizations like State Department of Agriculture and KVK that are working together with farmers. They have taken up various programs to train farmers for pineapple cultivation in various districts of Meghalaya. Training, on-farm trial and demonstration programs have been organized frequently for popularizing pineapple cultivation in different parts of West Garo Hills District. (source)
This is one reason why, a study was conducted on 100 pineapple farmers in 20 villages of West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya. It was also conducted to account for the development of socio-economic and psychological characteristics of the pineapple farmers towards pineapple production technology.

The study revealed 42 % respondents with low level of adoption and 35% respondents with mediocre level of adoption and 23% respondents with high level of production. The psychological behavior of pineapple farmers towards production technology was mainly responsible for the lack of adoption response.

Other factors involved area under pineapple cultivation, annual income and market orientation. All these factors must be carefully considered before developing modern technologies among the farming community. (source)

Pineapple cultivar collecting pineapple


These were the main objectives of the study:

  1. To find out the extent of adoption of pineapple production technology by the pineapple growers in West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya.
  2. To assess the relationship between socio-economic and psychological characteristics of the tribal farmers with the adoption of pineapple production technology.

Method of Pineapple Production Technology experimented in West Garo Hills

An exploratory study was conducted in the West Garo hills district of Meghalaya. This district is one of the major producers of pineapple in the state. The method of purposeful pineapple sampling method was practiced in 4 selected blocks namely Rongram, Betasing, Dadenggre and Selsella. Out of these 4 blocks Rongram and Dadenggre were selected via simple random sampling method.

Then 10 villages each were further selected from these two blocks, through simple random sampling method. Thus, 20 villages were selected particularly for the study. From a huge list of pineapple farmers, 100 of them were selected as sample responders via simple random sampling method. From a huge list of pineapple farmers, 100 of them were selected as sample responders via simple random sampling method.

After this thorough pilot study was conducted, semi-structured interviews were scheduled during the months of February and June 2013. These respondents were then interviewed to find out and understand how they felt about undertaking a modern method of pineapple cultivation in their fields. The data that was obtained from each interview were analyzed thoroughly using a descriptive statistical tool.

The adoption of pineapple production technology was measured using the help of Adoption Index that was developed by Rahim in the year 1961. This formula developed by Rahim covered and conceived the four stages of the adoption process for measuring adoption assigned at each point.

The final scores that were obtained in different practices were added up and expressed in term of percentage of the possible total scores. This is the formula that was used. Ai = Number of practices adopted by the farmers. N = Total number of practices recommended. (source)

Farmer holding pineapple


Results and its Factors

Here are the results that were obtained: the average level of adoption among the pineapple farmers were found to be 36.78% with the standard deviation of 6.62. Consequently, it indicates that the pineapple farmers of West Garo Hills still desire to follow traditional practices of farming. Which is also why adopting modern or scientific method of farming is comparatively low.

However, it is evident that the socio-economic factors such as the size of land holding, area under pineapple cultivation and annual income of the pineapple farmers will affect their decision on  adopting new pineapple production technology. Other factors – like whether a farmer is production oriented, market oriented, risk oriented, innovation prone, economically motivated etc. and the overall the attitude of the farmer – influence the decision to try new techniques.

Freshly cut pineapple in a banana leaf


Conclusion

The findings of the study suggested that there is a good scope of enhancing pineapple cultivation in the district of West Garo Hills. Such a move could provide opportunities and generative income and employment at the farm level.


The Zizira Factor

We at Zizira believe in all things natural. We may not have a direct impact on the increase in the production of pineapples in the state, but we are helping promote traditional farmers and their produce by sourcing it directly from them. We are doing this by creating unique products made from the finest pineapple fruits of Meghalaya. You can buy it directly from our store at Amazon.in.

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