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| Last Updated:03/11/2018

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First ever consignment of organic pineapples airlifted to Delhi

 Source: Imphal Free Press.

 

Shyamkumar speaking to media

Shyamkumar speaking to media

 

IMPHAL | Jul 29 : State and the Horticulture and Soil Conservation department today achieved a major milestone as one metric tonne (1 MT) of organic pineapples grown in the state was airlifted today to Delhi from the Imphal International Airport. The airlift of locally grown organic pineapples from the state was done for the first time ever. Horticulture and Soil Conservation department had tied up with NE Agro Products, a Gurgaon based company for selling fresh organic and chemical free pineapples (850 grams to 1.5 kilograms) for ‘queen’ and ‘kew’ varieties. The pineapples are produced by the organic pineapple growers of Thayong, Andro, Waithou Chiru, where queen variety is cultivated and Bunglon and Khousabung where kew variety is cultivated under the Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North East Region (MOVCD-NER) implemented by the Mission Organic Mission Agency (MOMA) in the state. At present, 600 organic growers or farmers are cultivating organic pineapples covering 600 hectares of land under phase-1 of the scheme and another 1,000 growers are being promoted at 1,000 hectares of land under the phase-II of the mission. The seasonal fruit is available in the State from the month of July to October. Addressing the media persons at his New Secretariat office, Horticulture and Soil Conservation minister, Thounaojam Shyamkumar described the first ever airlifting of the consignment of organic pineapples to Delhi as a new dawn for the department and for the organic farmers of the state. Encouraging the organic farmers of the state, he asked them to work harder and cultivate more pineapples as the government is committed to provide a suitable market for the pineapples. Shyamkumar opined that with the initiative, people outside the state can savour the unique characteristics and special refreshing taste of the varieties of pineapples grown in the state. The move will benefit the farmers as well the state and many more such initiatives will be taken up in the future to benefit all the stakeholders, he added. The minister further lauded the officials of the department as well as the officials of MOMA for their hard work and determination. Advising them to continue with their effort, he said it is definitely a proud moment for all those involved in the task. He opined that the pineapples of the state will surely leave a mark among the people from outside the State for its unique taste and flavour which will further increase the demand. Project director of MOMA, K. Debadutta Sarma said that it is indeed a major achievement for the Horticulture and Soil Conservation department under the leadership of the minister who has been a pillar of strength. He also credited the director of the department, K. Kipgen, for his direction and supervision. He continued that till now the state has been unable to fulfil the demands from outside the state due to lack of post-harvest infrastructures, logistic arrangements and facilities, cold chain infrastructures in the state. The pineapple farmers have been facing uncertain market and heavy post-harvest losses around 30-40 percent due to market glut and stagnation. He further said that the NE Agro Products have agreed to airlift 1 MT of pineapples every day or every alternative day till the produces are available with the farmers. He said that NE Agro Products, Krushi Karma Naturals Private Limited and MOMA have collaborated for airlifting the pineapples. The department believes that the organic products of the farmers will be able to attract more national and international buyers and build a committed market linkage in the future, he added. Debadutta also said the ‘Mission Organic’ will be implementing Value Chain Processing Plants for exports oriented organic horticulture products in the coming years. Meanwhile, the pineapple growers in the state will surely be benefitted with an assured market for their produces till the processing plants come up under the mission, he added.