Imphal, September 6: Ukhrul celebrates ‘Hathei Phanit’, a three days festival of Hathei chilly which is grown only at Sirarakhong village in Ukhrul district of Manipur; the festival being launched today in the village.
Large quantity of organic King Chilly locally known as Umoruk was also diplayed at three day long ‘Hathei Phanit’, in the festival, organised by Sirarkhong Shanao Long. This was the eight episode of the popular chilly festival.
Th. Biswajit Singh minister of commerce and industries opened the festival amid opening prayer and cultural performance.
Altogether 18 stalls including four stalls opened. Hathei chilly produced by local self help groups were displayed in 14 stalls and organically grown Umorok, which is another pride of the state were also displayed. The Umorok displayed were produced by farmers Churchandpur, Tamenglong, Senapati and Ukhrul.
Khanthan, a farmer said, “We were told that Hathei is very useful in curing cancer and other and other diseases. It is far more useful and tastier than the Kashmiri chilly, as we were told by experts.”
Asem Bhakta Singh, service provider of Garden care, who attended as special guest in the festival, said, “Hathei chilly is a very unique kind of chilly nowhere grown in other parts of the world and it is the pride of Ukhrul.”
The locals use this eight inch long chilly. It is used to add colour as well as flavor in non-vegetarian cuisines.
Dry Hathei chilly was sold at Kg. 480 per kg and Rs.60 for the fresh ones in the festival.
Fresh organic Umorok chilly was sold at Rs. 440. It was first harvested in Ukhrul recently.
Bhakta Singh said, “We have started promoting organic farming. You will see local varieties of organic vegetables and fruits in two years. As three years is conversion period we will take time and we have introduced organic pineapples and organic Umorok recently in the local market.”
All the three days have entertainment programmes schedules. Prizes will be distributed on the last day of the exhibition to distinguished farmers.
Many from Imphal came to witness the festival at Sirarakhong which is 65 km away from Imphal.