The economic importance of pineapple is easily justified by its unique characteristics as a fruit. The pineapple, Ananas comosus (L.) Merr., indigenous to South America, where it has been cul tivated for many centuries, is the most economically significant plant in the family Bromeliaceae, and the third most important tropical fruit in world production.
Pineapple is a perennial monocotyledonous plant that grows as a small shrub; the individual flowers of the unpollinated plant fuse to form a multiple fruit. The plant is normally prop agated from the offset produced at the top of the fruit, or from a side shoot (sucker), and typically mature within a year.
Good quality pineapple grows well in acidic loams, sandy loams and clay loams soils under warm and humid climate with sunny days and cool nights. Pineapples need a neutral to mildly acidic soil ranging pH from 4.5 to 6.5. Fertilizer requirement increases sharply after planting and peak at two to four months before floral initiation.
The perishable pineapple fruit is usually stored only for 4 to 5 days after harvesting in normal conditions. Generally, ripened pineapple fruit is consumed fresh or as pineapple juice. In the 20th century, Hawaii was a dominant producer of pineapples, especially for the USA. Today, Costa Rica, Philippines, Brazil, Thailand, Indonesia, India, and Nigeria are the leading pineapple producing countries accounting for more than 50% of the total world production of approximately 28 million metric tons produced on around 1 million hectares.
The prospect of pineapple is bright due to increasing trend of total consumption and export potential.
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