Manipur’s Ukhrul celebrates chilli festival

Pothashang News Service: Imphal, August 29, 2018: The ninth edition of the Hathei Phanit festival of Hathei Chilli kicked off today at Sirarakhong village, Ukhrul district, where the unique chilli is grown.

Hathei is an eight-inch long peculiar kind of chilli not grown in other parts of the world; it is the pride of Ukhrul which is used to add colour and flavour in non-vegetarian menu.

The festival is held on the theme ‘celebrating the god’s gift – Hathei’ by the Sirarakhong Hathei Promotion Committee and Sirarakhong villagers and sponsored by NEC through EBADA Manipur, horticulture and soil conservation and Manipur Organic Mission Agency.

Horticulture and soil conservation minister Th. Shyamkumar at the inaugural function said that Manipur has many communities and places which have different specific specialties. Stating that the Sirarakhong’s  Hathei which grows naturally is definitely a god’s gift, he said that the state government takes the festival seriously as it is aware of the many difficulties faced by the farmers/villagers and the speciality of the place. He promised that after discussing with the farmers and the villagers special steps will be taken up by the department to increase the production of the chillies.

The minister also announced Rs 13.50 lakhs for the construction of rural market shed under the MIDH scheme of the department and allocation of a 4×4 vehicle for the transportation of local produces till the capital city after September this year. It may be mentioned that the Minister had earlier provided a similar vehicle for the villagers of Kachai in Ukhrul district. He advised the people to focus and work harder for the production of more chillies.

V. Mary, a farmer who was displaying her products said “with Lord’s blessings, this season, I produce 400 kg of dry chilli. At the average I can earn Rs. 1 lakh per year. This festival has been helping us to sell our products and we are thankful to the organisers”.

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