Imphal, Aug 23: Cold storage facility would be one big boon to the pineapple farmers for better revenue and making their life a lot easier. State Government is already planning to provide cold storage facility at different places in the state, said Governor Dr Najma Heptulla while opening the 12th State Level Pineapple Festival, 2019 organised by the Manipur Pineapple Festival Committee at Khousabung, Churachandpur today.
Manipur Pineapple Festival is to empower the pineapple farmers, bring them to a common platform, search for viable markets, promote agro-tourism and generally foster the spirit of unity and brotherhood. she said. In the 11 years since its inception, the festival is slowly but surely moving towards achieving its set objectives. Pineapple is one of the most important horticulture crops in Manipur and a large number of people in the state are dependent on it for their livelihood.
There are different varieties of pineapple like Queen, Kew found in the State and it is a favourite fruit for many because of its flavor and health quotient, the governor said. There is a large potential for economic activity based on this horticulture crop to increase the income of the farmers. Demand is never an issue and there is a need to produce more, while simultaneously taking up processing so that the fruits remain available throughout the year to enhance its economic viability, Dr Heptulla said.
The shelf life of the fruit is rather short and the transportation cost in the State is forbiddingly high and as such, while some percentage of this wonderful produce gets consumed in the State, plenty gets wasted, she said. The governor said it is important to develop the easily marketable products like canned pineapple slices, concentrate, extract and in powder form so that the transportation cost comes down and the fruit in a good form is available to national and international consumers year round.
This will result in reduction of risk for our farming community while making good economic gains. Th. Shyamkumar Singh Minister, Horticulture & Soil Conservation, V. Hangkhanlian Minister, Veterinary & Animal Husbandry, MLAs attended the event during which beautiful pineapple were displayed by farmers.UNI