Pineapple farmers in the State claim to have suffered a loss of ₹300 crore owing to fall in prices during the lockdown in a month.
Pineapple farmers are losing at least , said James George, president of Pineapple Farmers Association, representing around 5,000 farmers, engaged in cultivating an estimated 40,000 acres and engaging roughly 20,000 workers from different States of the country.
Jojo Joseph, secretary of the association, said Vazakkulam pineapple, with its GI tag, represented the strength of Kerala agriculture just as natural rubber did once. The government must step in to help the farmers, he said.
The farmers have raised demands ranging from waiver of interest on loans to restructuring of all loans without interest up to two years. They want landowners to reduce lease rates and provide more time to make payments.
The also sought a procurement price of ₹25 and subsidy of ₹10 a kg for the fruit produced during this season.