Techno-Guide on Pineapple Fiber

Pineapple is a perennial or biennial harbaceous plant about 50-150 cm. tall. It has sword-shaped, long, narrow, fairly stiff leaves with margins, usually spiny except in few varieties. Likewise, leaves are fleshy, fibrous, groove on upper surface, arrange in a close spiral clasping the main axis at their vase. The leaves, particularly of the native variety, produce excellent fiber. The plant produces ratoons, suckers and slips at the base, middle and upper parts, respectively.

The fruit, an enlarged aggregate of fruitlets, is conical and produces crown at the top with the eye or fruitlets arranged all over in rectangular fashion. It is juicy, fleshy and yellowish when ripe. Sweet or sub-acid fruit is eaten fresh or made into preserve or wine.

Varieties

  • Red Spanish/Native Philippine Red
  • Hawaaian
  • Formosa/Queen

Soil Requirement

  • Pineapple grows well on porous and well drained soil with pH of 4.5 and 5.5. It does not thrive well in wet soil.

Climatic Requirement

  • Pineapple grows well in areas where temperature is mild (24°C) and relatively uniform throughout the year, rainfall is between 100 to 15 cm per year and evenly distributed during the growing season.

Methods of Propagation

  • Crowns
  • Slips
  • Suckers

Planting season is done at the onset of the rainy season.

Pineapple may be planted at a distance of 20-25 cm in rows 80-100 cm apart.

Rate of Fertilization

Manure from poultry are excellent and are applied at the rate of 4 to 5 tons per hectare with complete fertilizer like 12-12-12 and 15-15-15 which is applied twice yearly at the combined rate of 400 to 500 kilos per hectare.

Some Major Pests and Their Control

1. Mealy bug is common on the roots of pineapple and large colonies develop on the stem just above the ground level. It usually spread upwards to feed in the floral cavities, on both small and mature fruit, on the crown leaves. It caused the wilt disease with a preliminary reddening of leaves followed by a definite color change from red to pink and an inward reflexing of the leaf margins. In severe cases, wilted plants show reduction in weight, leaf surface area, number of leaves, leaf length ad breadth and root length.

Control

Heat Treatment. Heat pineapple crowns in a large bath at 50°c for 30 minutes permit 100% plant survival and rendered 100% of the plants free of pineapple wilt-associated virus.

Chemical Control. Dip or fumigate pineapple crowns and slips methyl bromide before planting.

2. Root grub is white when newly-hatched and turns light brown with age. The adults are grayish black beetles known as “Salagubang” in Tagalog. It feeds on the roots of the plant causing it to wither. When heavily infested, the plant dies. Incorporation of gamma-HCH into the soil may provide 100% control of first instar larvae and 48-65% on the third instar larvae.

Some Major Diseases and Their Control

1. Soft Rot – caused by Thielaviopsis paradoxa (De Seyn) Noehr. It causes leaf spot, rotting of stalk, base, soft rot or water blisters and fruit rot. Control by spraying or painting the cut-end with salicyclic acid or dust with benzoic acid.

2. Heart Rot – caused by Phytophthora parasitica Dastun. It causes stem blight and fruit rot. Control by using recommended insecticides.

Plants which are a year-old produce strong and pliable fibers.

Methods of Extraction

1. Hand Stripping/scrapping – this process utilizes broken porcelain plate and manually scraping the fibers of the Spanish or native variety pineapple. Two types of fibers are produced in this method name, liniwan and bastos. After scrapping the fibers, they are washed thoroughly with tap water and air dried.

2. Decortication – this utilizes the pineapple leaves where fruits were already harvested. The leaves are fed manually in decorticating machine where they are beaten and scraped by the revolving blades. Decorticated fibers are washed thoroughly with water and sun dried. Fibers produced are a mixture of liniwan and bastos.

3. Retting – is also used in extracting pineapple fiber but this method is not popular.

Classification and Grading

Decorticated

  • PID-1 – Pina Decorticated One
  • PID-2 – Pina Decorticated Two
  • PID- R- Pina Decorticated Residue

Hand Stripped

  • PIH-1 – Pina Hand Stripped (Liniwan)
  • PIH-2 – Pina Hand Stripped (Bastos)
  • PIH-R – Pina Hand StrippedResidue

For more information, contact:

Fiber Industry Development Authority
1424 Asiatrust Bank Annex Bldg,
Quezon Ave., Quezon City

source: fida.da.gov.ph

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