Imphal: Altogether 270 orange farmers participated in the17th edition of State Level Tamenglong Orange Festival that concluded on Monday at Apollo Ground, Tamenglong district headquarters.
The festival began on December 17. It was held at different venues in the district. Every orange farmer had to bring a minimum 1000 oranges to participate in the festival.
Gainiliu of Sibilong village, Tousem sub-division was adjudged as the first in the orange competition, Tanimliu kamei of Sibilong village, as second and Gaikhammei of Changdai village, Tamenglong the third.
Cash Prizes were awarded to the winners — Rs 2 lakh to the first, the second with Rs 1 lakh and the third with Rs 75,000.
Chief minister N.Biren Singh inaugurated a slew of developmental projects at Tamenglong, while attending the closing function of the orange festival.
The projects are Development and Promotion of Eco-tourism Centres at Zeilad Lake and Tharon Cave in Tamenglong District under Hill Area Development Program (HADP), establishment of Cold Storage Chain at Tamenglong under HADP, construction of Water Supply Scheme at Tamah, Tamei under HADP and Indoor Stadium cum Multipurpose Hall at Tamenglong District Headquarters.
Biren elaborated on the reason behind organising of the festival and increasing prize money for orange growers’ competition.
The state government wants to make Tamenglong an orange producing district because the orange variety grown in the district is suitable with the soil of the district, he said highlighting the unique taste of the orange.
The increased prize money will encourage locals to take up orange farming and make themselves economically viable and self-reliant, which will eventually improve the local economy, he added.
Biren also spoke on the need for tissue culture for the Tamenglong Oranges to ensure that the local orange doesn’t get mixed with other varieties and that it doesn’t lose its taste or uniqueness.
Highlighting that the state has started exporting products like black rice, pineapple among other items, he said oranges can also be exported if there is surplus production.
The cold storages inaugurated today will help farmers in storing their products, the chief minister said, assuring that the government is always there for the people.
The chief minister stressed that Tamenglong is moving towards development, citing various developmental projects like eco-tourism centers at Thanlon Caves, Zeilad Lake, among others.
In today’s modern world, tourism is the best option for places like Manipur and Tamenglong to improve the economy, he continued deliberating on the need to develop and promote the tourist spots in the state.
Reiterating his earlier assurance to the people of the district, the chief minister said the government is making Tamenglong, one of the most developed districts of the state and further highlighted development works undertaken including the construction of a water supply, ongoing work for Amusement Park near Barak River.
He said, the centre has been proposed for development of a tourist centre at Bunning.
The chief minister appealed to the people against creating disturbances to developmental projects.
Biren highlighted the works taken up on the Khongsang road to Tamenglong, Imphal-Kangchup-Tamenglong road and construction of another helipad at Tamenglong.
Biren also encouraged the youth to take up Thang-ta stating that it teaches discipline and will keep them healthy.
The chief minister along with the other dignitaries inspected the stalls opened at the festival venue.
During the programme, a 500 strong team of the RBCC Women choir group also presented a song. Other highlights also included the beating of the traditional gong 17 times by the dignitaries led by the chief minister to commemorate the festival, playing of the festival song, various performances by traditional dance groups and Thang-ta performances.