Agartala, July 9: Not to be left behind in the game of 'fruit diplomacy', Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, plans to gift Queen variety of pineapples, the state fruit, to Bangladeshs Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed as a return gift.
The pineapples, whose consignment will weigh a little more than double the weight of packets of the famous `Haribhanga mangoes which Sheikh Hasina sent, will be sent on Saturday as a return gift.
A huge consignment of 300 kgs of mangoes was handed over to Deb on Monday by the Assistant High Commissioner of Bangladesh here, Md. Jubaid Hossein.
Haribhanga mango is a well-known breed of mangoes grown in Rangpur district of Bangladesh, which is much prized in export markets.
In return "some 100 packets of queen pineapples weighing 650 kgs would be sent to the Indian High Commission in Dhaka to be handed over to Bangladesh Prime Minister", an official in the Chief Ministers office said.
Tripura played host to over a million refugees from Bangladesh in 1971, outnumbering its own population at the time. Since the election of Sheikh Hasinas government, Bangladesh has made special efforts to connect with the Northeastern state increasing land, rail, and energy connectivity with Tripura.
The pineapples which are being gifted were collected from Ampi block in Gomati district, famous for growing the state fruit, officials said.
The pineapples are being packed in good bags after thorough checking which would be sent through Agartala-Akhaura Integrated Check Post (ICP) to Indian High Commission in Dhaka and would be handed over to Sheikh Hasina on Sunday.
In Tripura, an estimated 1.30 lakh MT pineapples are grown every year across 8,800 hectare of orchards in all the eight districts of the state, which are also exported to foreign countries.