Imphal, Aug 23
Governor of Manipur Dr. Najma Heptulla today opens the XIIth State Level Manipur Pineapple Festival at Khousabung in Churachandpur district.
Speaking on the occasion the governor said that Festivals are organized to serve a definite purpose and the objective of the 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 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.
“It is very encouraging that the cultivators of Khousabung and adjoining villages have been growing pineapple for more than six decades and it has been a major source of their income. I hope this year’s festival will also be as successful as the previous years and wish the organizers all success in their endeavour. Such festivals with a competitive spirit will enhance the performance of the farmers at different levels. I have also found that the pineapple of Manipur is more palatable and delicious than those I have taken elsewhere. It is also much sought after outside the State. I have been told that there was good export of pineapple from this State to other countries also not long ago. I do not know why it has been discontinued but every effort should be made by all concerned to expand this export avenue and make it a commercially successful venture. This fruit could rank as a good revenue earner for the State”, Heptulla added.
For the pineapple farming community, the festival means a lot as they get an opportunity for wider exposure of their products she said and added that the people living in the interior parts of the State and the hilly areas have to transport their products to the District Headquarters and State capital for sale. She also stressed on the need for Cold storage facility
“ I understand that the State Government is already planning to provide cold storage facility at different places of the State. I am confident that, with the efforts of the Government, the problem faced by the farmers of not only a particular District but also of all other areas, especially those living in the interior parts of the State will be eased to a great extent”, she added.