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Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Monday flagged off the 17-tonne consignment of exotic and juicy pineapple to Dubai.

Tripura exported 1.5 tonnes of the Queen variety of pineapple to Dubai last year as part of the initiative to popularise the tropical fruit globally.

Chief minister Deb said with the increase in pineapple production from the 1.26 lakh tonnes to 3 lakh tonnes by 2021, the fruit will be exported to more countries and all the states in India.

He said the consignment would reach Dubai in 9-10 days.

“After Tripura gets linked through the proposed waterway with Bangladesh, the time and cost of exporting pineapple, lemon and other items would be further reduced,” Deb said.

The production of the Queen variety of pineapples has increased 25 per cent in the state.

He said all blocks had been asked to enlarge pineapple cultivation area.

“In near future, the state would start earning more foreign exchange and extend more benefits to farmers,” the chief minister added.

He further said that prime minister Narendra Modi’s target to double farmers’ income by 2022 would be achieved in Tripura through the export of pineapple.

Agriculture and transport minister Pranajit Singh Roy said one pineapple fetched Rs 5-10, but for export purposes it was being procured at Rs 15 per piece.

A horticulture department official said many countries, including Israel and Bahrain, had expressed willingness to import pineapple from Tripura.

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