Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh said that around 150 metric tonnes of organic pineapples were airlifted to Delhi and other cities last year. He said this was achieved even as organic Manipur pineapple is being consigned to marketing platforms such as Big Basket and NE Agro Products for sale in major cities of the country.
Stating that horticulture is a key sector to the economic prosperity of the state, the chief minister stressed the need to focus on some specific items like pineapple, lemon, orange, ginger and Yongchak (tree bean) among others, which are suitable for growing in the state.
He said organic produce of Manipur has been exported to different countries and that organic U-morok (King chilli) had reached Australia, Canada and the US.
He informed that since 2015-16, Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA) had been able to register 12,500 organic farmers covering 12,500 hectares in the state. Under this mission, he said, 10 Farmer Producer Companies (FPC) had been formed, and an additional five more FPCs are in the process of forming.
The CM also informed that the state had been actively working for the upliftment of ginger growers of Pherzawl District. The government had been able to link buyers with ginger growers this year, he added. Around 4,000 MT of ginger had been marketed outside the state fetching more than Rs 12 crore this year alone. In 2018, sale of 1,000 MT of ginger was made by MSTC Ltd., a Government of India company fetching Rs. 1.9 crore, he added.
Directorate of Horticulture and Soil Conservation had acquired Geographical Indication (GI) tag for Kachai lemon, he said and added that now Kachai lemon has become the only lemon variety of India to have a GI tag.
Asserting that the government is open for those willing to invest efforts in horticulture opportunities, Singh said that Manipur State Co-operative Bank Ltd. had recently provided loan to an apple grower. Last year as well, financial assistance of around Rs. 95 lakh had been provided under StartUp Manipur to a strawberry grower, he said.
Moreover, he said, cold storage infrastructures are being set up in various districts for the convenience of farmers.