Pothashang News Service: Imlphal, July 28, 2018: For the first time ever organic pineapples grown in Manipur were airlifted for trade today from Imphal International airport.
One metric tonne of organic pineapples was airlifted to Delhi showing success of organic pineapple farming in Manipur.
Addressing the media persons at his office, horticulture and soil conservation minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar said, “The first ever airlifting of the consignment of organic pineapples to Delhi is a new dawn for the department and for the organic farmers of the state.”
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/farmers are cultivating organic pineapples covering 600 hectares of land under phase-1 of the scheme and another 1,000 growers/farmers 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.
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 said.
He said 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.
Debadutta Sarma, project director, MOMA said it is indeed a major achievement for the department. He said, till now the state has been unable to fulfill the demands from the 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% due to market glut and stagnation.
He further said the NE Agro Products have agreed to airlift 1 MT of pineapples everyday or every alternative day till the produces are available with the farmers. He said NE Agro Products, Krushi Karma Naturals Pvt. Ltd and MOMA have collaborated for airlifting the pineapples. The Department believes that the organic produces will be able to attract more and more national and international buyers and build a committed market linkage in the future, he added.