Senapati: The 4th Manipur Kiwifruit Festival was organized by Senapati Producers Organizatiom Of Organic Kiwifruit (SPOOOK) under the aegis of Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA) and Mission on Integrated Development of Horticulture ( MIDH) the two sister of the Department of Horticulture and Soil Conservation, Government of Manipur and supported by North Eastern Council, Government of India through EBADA. Letpao Haokip minister Tribal Development & Hills Dept, Horticulture and Soil Conservation kicked of the event as the chief guest with Premchandra MLA, Kumbi A/C and Kumo J Sha the people’s representative of Karong (ST) A/C as the guest of honour and functional president respectively.
Yuh Jonathan Tao, vice president BJP Manipur Pradesh, the chief host of the event with his functionaries from the saffron party of the state attended. Honey Chara, Director, Department of of Horticulture & Soil Conservation and her fraternity from Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA) and Mission on Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), the EBADA family, staffs from Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) Thoubal and Ukhrul stamped their footprints at the festival with their presence.
Speaking at the inaugural function, minister, Letpao Haokip stressed on the important efficient land use in the hills through identification of horticulture crops with comparative advantages. He shared his contentment on witnessing the testimony of exotic fruit like kiwi booming in Senapati. He urged the farming community to identify high value crops like blueberry and cardamom while ensuring his solidarity with the leadership of the Department of Horticulture and Soil Conservation and co-operation of the farming community in translating the Government’s vision of rainbow revolution in the State into a reality.
Premchandra, the guest of honour expressed his pleasure for being a part of the festival at the historic village and urged the congregation to be a messenger of unity, peace and communal harmony.
“Festivals has become a cornerstone of our culture. I am afraid if the trend and fancy festival becomes a fad, commodities losing its identity and authenticity is an inevitability”, Kumo J Sha, the functional president lamented of excess festivities in the State. He reminded the congregation that the intent of the festival should be to encourage more farmers to take up horticulture crop cultivation and increase its productivity for economic independence and self reliance.
Interacting with the media fraternity, K Debadutta Sharma, Project Director, MOMA stated that plantation of kiwi fruits as a focused crop started in 2016. He maintained that 11 metric tonnes of kiwi fruits were exported this year and preparation is on to export another 10 metric tonnes. He further stated that plans are moduled for identifying potential areas and setting up kiwi processing unit at Nilakuthi Food Park.
The event witnessed 60 organic kiwi farmers opening up stalls showcasing and competing their products for best stalls. Buyers-Sellers Meet, Subject Matter Specialist – Grower confluence good agricultural practices and success stories of kiwi growers were the highlight of the festival.