Pineapple farmers seek ro-ro train service

October 15, 2023 | The Hindu |

Pineapple farmers in Kerala, India, are advocating for the introduction of a roll-on roll-off (ro-ro) rail service to transport their produce to upcountry markets like Mumbai and Delhi more efficiently. Currently, it takes approximately five days for pineapples from Kerala, including the key pineapple hub Vazhakkulam, to reach Delhi. With the ro-ro rail service, this transit time could be reduced to around two and a half to three days, benefiting both farmers and consumers. The ro-ro service involves loading entire lorries onto trains, allowing for direct distribution from the railway station without the need for unloading and reloading consignments. This service is expected to reduce transportation costs, making it more economically viable for farmers, while also ensuring the availability of fresher, higher-quality fruits in distant markets.

Severe climatic conditions, such as droughts, floods, and high temperatures, are causing crop failures and impacting the livelihoods of Indian farmers. Unsustainable agricultural practices, including the burning of crop residues and excessive greenhouse gas emissions, further exacerbate these challenges.