The 3rd State Level Kiwi Fruit Festival was held at Rasha Hall, Purul Akutpa village today 20th November 2020. The third edition of the Annual festival was organized by Senapati Producers Organization of Organic Kiwifruit (SPOOOK) and sponsored by Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), Directorate of Horticulture and Soil Conservation. The event was graced by officials from the District Office, MIDH and Horticulture and Soil Conservation.
At 11:47 a.m, a memorandum was submitted on the occasion by the grower association to the Chief Guest of the Event, Upendra Singh, District Officer, District Office (Horticulture and Soil Conservation) for the establishment of Kiwifruit Research Station in the district and adoption of the said festival as a State Level festival.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Guest urged the gathering to strictly adhere to the COVID-19 protocols and led the congregation to undertake an oath of diligence. He promised to support the growers with need-based inputs, market linkage and value addition infrastructures. “To adopt the said festival as a State-level Festival, collaboration and participation of every stakeholder from growers to local self-government and elected representative are crucial,” he said. He further urged the organization to prepare a project proposal so that timely forwarding to a higher authority for needful intervention can be initiated.
While lamenting the impact of COVID-19 on the said festival, Chungong Pamei, the Guest of Honour lauded the efforts of the zeal of the organizers. While applauding the enthusiasm, he cautioned the growers to adopt Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) lest production of Grade A and Grade B kiwifruit for market sustenance and sustainability can be a limiting factor. He assured a micro-processing unit for the organization in the next financial year while also reaffirming to include Kiwi production in Manipur Map, let alone in Senapati District. “In the next edition, Buyer-Seller Meet will be a key feature of the festival”, asserted Panmei.
National awardee Mr Peter, the president of the organization and the man behind the successful commercial cultivation of kiwifruit in the region vividly remarked, “Kiwi fruit has a huge potential in our region owing rich medicinal properties of the fruit, climatic suitability, negligible pest and diseases and long shelf life. I first introduced the plantation in 2013 to exemplify diversification from Agriculture into Horticulture as a success story in the district. Today, there are 65 farmers under the Producers Organization cultivating the fruit in an approximate area of 50 ha. This year, 1 tonne of fresh kiwi fruit has been exported outside the state with the support of Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA). Next year, we expect our production to hit 10 Metric tonnes. We are negotiating with private players to ship our products to Gulf countries”, He remarked.
With a vote of thanks from the president the event successfully concluded at 12:27 p.m followed by an outdoor exhibition and sale of kiwi. A footfall of more than 320 attendees following COVID protocols was commemorated for the fiesta as an encouragement to the farmers.