Last Updated on February 17, 2023 by SPN Editor
A two-day programme of XV State Level Manipur Pineapple Festival and Celebration of 75 years of Pineapple farming was held as a part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav at Dr Kalam Ground, Bunglon High School campus, Churachandpur district on Friday.
TA & Hills and Horticulture Minister Letpao Haokip appreciated the elders for introducing pineapple farming as one of the important occupations. The minister noted that pineapple cultivation has provided livelihood to many people. The ‘Monolith’ commemorating 75 years of Pineapple Farming at “Lengthei Kulhpi” was inaugurated by the presidium members and beating of “Dakpi” (75 times).
He also talked about the negative impact of poppy plantations in the hills. Elaborating that high value plantations can be done in the hills, Letpao stated that cardamon is a shade loving plant and avocado, which are in high demand. He suggested that these plants can be cultivated on a trial basis.
He said saffron can also be planted in cold places. He said one kg of saffron costs lakhs of rupees. Letpao assured that his department would help in whatever way possible in taking up cultivation of high value new plants.
He appealed to the farmers who want to take up cultivation of high value plants to provide prior information to the department so that it can procure the requirements.
Stating that the valley occupies only 10 percent of the total geographical area of Manipur, Minister Letpao said the state has been depending on the valley’s food and agricultural products.
He said various types of plantations can be introduced in the hills. Recently 20,000 metric tonnes of pineapple from Manipur was exported to Dubai, he mentioned.
The Minister appealed to the farmers to enhance production and assured that the Horticulture Department will extend possible help to the state farmers. He stressed on the need of proper training for the farmers from time to time so that they can understand various plant diseases.
He said white collar jobs cannot improve the state economy and encouraged promotion of entrepreneurship.
Letpao also said a One Unit -5 metric tonne capacity cold storage will be installed at Bunglon village and a 200 metric tonne cold storage with 5 metric tonne pre-cooling capacity will also be set up there soon, apart from inaugurating a 10 metric tonne staging cold room at Khousabung soon.
Besides Letpao Haokip, the opening ceremony of the festival was also attended by Minister of Health and Family Welfare and IPR, Dr Sapam Ranjan Singh, Minister of Social Welfare/Skill/Labour, Employment & Entrepreneurship/Fisheries, Heikham Dingo Singh, and MLAs Letzamang Haokip, Janghemlung Panmei, and J Kumo Sha.
Giving his speech, Minister of Social Welfare/Skill/Labour, Employment & Entrepreneurship/Fisheries, Heikham Dingo Singh stated that the festival is an important festival of the state. Pineapple farming is very much suitable in the state and the pineapple from Khousabung is the tastiest. He said the people of the state must support and encourage pineapple cultivation in the state.
Stating that Covid has exempted the celebration of the festival which was held every year, he prayed that the festival would be celebrated each and every year and more production of the pineapple. He assured to extend whatever help and support possible for the cultivation.
Giving the presidential speech, Health and Family Welfare and IPR Minister Dr Sapam Ranjan Singh stated that 600 pineapple farmers in the area have been earning huge revenue and generating employment for sustainable livelihood for the people of the area.
The monolith at the village is a testimony to the commitment and hard work of organic pineapple production which will be handed down to the future generation. He said Manipur produces the best pineapple.
The Minister also said Bunglon PHC would be developed into a Health & Wellness Centre soon.