TODAY -

Pineapple festival begins
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, July 01 2022: Horticulture & Soil Conservation minister Letpao Haokip inaugurated the 15th State Level Pineapple Festival cum Sellers & Buyers Meet and Youth Festival, 2022, at Thambalnu Market Complex under Andro AC on Friday.

The festival is being organised by Development Organisation Andro Kendra (DOAK) in collaboration with Horticulture and Soil Conservation Department under the aegis of Eastern Border Area Development Authority (EBADA) and Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH).

The festival sponsored by North Eastern Council will continue till July 5.Speaking as chief guest of the inaugural function, minister Letpao Haokip hailed the people of Andro for utilising its nearby hills for cultivating pineapple.

Farmers no longer have to worry about marketing of their produce since the government is exporting pineapple of the state to other countries.

Manipur is a land where any type of crops can be cultivated and those crops also develop their own flavour unique to the state, he said.

Instead of relying on the eight per cent of the land in the valley area for the whole state, the cultivable areas in the hills could also be utilised efficiently by cultivating high value crops.

Planting Perilla (Thoiding) and Arum (paan) could bring only about Rs 10,000 ayear.

As such, farmers in the hill areas turned their attention towards poppy plantation through which they could earn Rs 20,000 to 30,000 per kg.

However, the farmers can opt for high value crops like Cardamom or Blue Berry instead of poppy plantation.

Cardamom is in huge demand and it can be planted under the shed of the trees in the hills.

Once planted, they can expand their population on their own.

A hillside of cardamom can easUy bring Rs 1 crore in a year, he said while assuring of organising training for farmers on cultivation of cardamom and to provide market support to the farmers.

The frequent incident of landslide in hill areas is the direct impact of deforestation and shifting jhum cultivation.

Moreover, such practices have big impact on the climatic condition of the state, the minister said.

He called upon the people of the state to stop the habit of looking down upon the farmers but to respect them as food producers.

He also informed that the government is discussing for introducing a policy to include a section of organic outlet in every shopping mall.

Andro MLA Thounaojam Shyamkumar, who presided over the function, said that the festival is being organised with the objective of promoting the pineapple farmers of the constituency as well as to encourage the younger generations to adopt farming as a respectable profession.

The festival is also a platform to bring unity and brotherhood among the people of different communities, he said, while urging the local people to show the best of their hospitality to the visitors during the festival.

DC Imphal East Kh Diana, horticulture and soil conservation director Honey Chara, DOAK vice-president W Sanaton and DOAK patron member Th Babita also attended the inaugural function as the presidium members.


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