The first wagon of ‘Vazhakulam pineapple,’ after the fruit produced in the Pineapple Republic received the Geographic Indication tag, will leave for Delhi on June 11.
The Southern Railways has agreed to carry the Vazhakulam pineapple on its passenger trains to North India regularly. At a meeting held at Vazhakulam on Monday between senior railway officials and functionaries of the Vazhakulam Pineapple Growers’ and Traders’ Ltd, pineapple will be transported at reduced freight rates. The Pineapple Mission, the Horticulture Mission and the Kerala Agriculture Department and lend a helping hand.
Baby John, president of the Vazhakulam Pineapple Farmers Association, told Business Line that it would the first shipment of pineapple from Vahzakulam with the `Vazhakulam Pineapple’ label on the carton. Though pineapple grown in Vazhakulam – jokingly called the Pineapple Republic – and nearby areas in Ernakulam and Idukki districts secured the GI tag a couple of years ago, the producers and traders had not been marketing the fruit under this label.
He said that as of now pineapples were being shipped to Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata by trucks which took several days to reach their destinations. Transporting by passenger trains will take only three days. This will greatly help retain the original flavour of the Vazhakulam fruit.
Baby John pointed out that the Railways agreed initially to set apart an exclusive wagon (23 tonnes) on the Duranto Express for pineapple. The wagon would carry hoardings of `Vazhakulam Pineapple’ in order to promote the product.