IMPHAL | Jul 4: Though 12th Pineapple Festival began today at Thambalnu Market Complex, Andro today with a total of 115 farmers taking part in the annually held festival, the production of the fruit has been reportedly decreased due to deficit rainfall.
Speaking to this reporter, Ibemhal, a farmer from Huikap, whose family had been dependent on pineapple farming for many years informed that the number of pineapple production have decreased this year due to deficit in rainfall.
She said, during the previous festival, six pineapples were sold for 50 rupees but due to decrease in the production this year, the price was increased at 100 rupees for four pineapples. She also said that the area of the farming pineapples needs to be shifted every five or six years because the size of the fruit has also decreased.
She informed that a large scale farming of the fruit can generate a profit of around one lakh in a year and the fruit does not require a particular season for plantation. For the current year, the maximum production maybe around 600 to 700 pineapples though it was being produced in terms of thousands in the previous year.
Thoibi Yumnam, who was the winner for maximum number of pine apple production last year, also said that the production has decreased this year due to deficit rainfall. She also said that they could not cultivate different pineapple breeds from other states as the soil is not suitable for other pineapple varieties.
Before the festival began, pineapple farmers did not have a proper market, the only option to get little profit was to sell the fruits in Imphal which takes time and expenditure as it far from Andro, said Thoibi. She continued that selling the fruit in Imphal was always a difficult work since they do not have a proper and permanent place.
After the festival began, buyers come to the festival in numbers making it convenient for the sellers along with making good profits.
Attending the formal function of the festival as the chief guest, minister of Horticulture and Soil Conservation, Manipur, Th. Shyamkumar said that the main motive of the festival is to develop work culture, increase the economy of the farmers and to be self-sustainable without depending on outside products.
He also said that the fruit is already exported out of the State and further acknowledged the farmers and agriculture department for their contribution. The minister also appealed the public to buy the fruit during the festival in order to encourage the farmers for more production.
Principal secretary department of Horticulture and Soil Conservation, J.C Ramthanga while speaking as one of the guest of honour, said that the department is not only focusing on the plantation of the fruit but also the market for the farmers at the same time. He also said that the fruits have already been airlifted outside and the department is also concerned in increasing the production.