Siliguri (West Bengal), June 21 (ANI): Pineapple farmers in West Bengal say they are hopeful about boosting trade ties with neighbouring Bangladesh and Nepal.
Pineapples are largely cultivated in Bidhannagar, 45 kilometres from Siliguri.
The district is by itself famous for pineapple cultivation.
Pineapple growers of Bidhannagar export 18 percent of their production to Nepal and 10 percent to Bhutan.
Bidhannagar pineapples are in great demand across the country, including in neighbouring countries like Nepal and Bhutan.
Farmers claimed that pineapple trade with Bangladesh would earn them good profits.
"We have found new markets in Nepal and Bangladesh. The pineapples which we export to Bangladesh via Tripura often reach bigger markets like Thailand. If we can send these pineapples in large quantities to Bangladesh then it would benefit our farmers a lot," said Elias Sheikh, a pineapple farmer.
Nearly a million people are dependent on pineapple trade in the state.
The cultivators pleaded the government to take initiatives in improving the trade ties between the two countries.
"The government seems to show no interest in sending off this huge produce of pineapples to Bangladesh. We appeal to the government to look in this regard so that we can send our produce to Bangladesh most of which comes from nor5thern part of Bengal and this will benefit our farmers," said Ratan Bose, a pineapple farmer.
In India, other than Bidhannagar, pineapples are cultivated in Karnataka and Meghalaya. But Bidhannagar is famous for the taste and flavour of pineapples. (ANI)