The 1st Manipur Kiwifruit Festival held under the theme ‘Kiwifruit for Rural Prosperity and Healthy Living’ is underway at Purul Akutpa village, about 110 km north of Imphal in Manipur’s Senapati district.
The two days festival is being organized by Senapati Producers’ Organization of organic kiwifruit and jointly supported by Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture under the aegis of Horticulture and Soil Conservation Department, Government of Manipur and Indian council of Agricultural Research Complex for NE Hill Region, Manipur Centre, Lamphelpat, Imphal.
Manipur Horticulture and Soil Conservation Minister Th Shyamkumar formally opened the festival on Saturday at the hill village in presence of Director (HRD) Kh Siile Anthony of NEC, Shillong; Managing Director Pankaj Kumar Prasad of NERAMAC, Guwahati; Joint Director in charge Dr IM Singh of ICAR Manipur Centre, Joint Director (SC) Ng Ajit Singh of Horticulture and Soil Conservation Department.
Project Coordinator M S Khaidem of SFAC, Manipur,DDM (Senapati) Th Kiran Singh of NABARD, other officials and villagers of Purul Akutpa.
Speaking at the function, Minister Shyamkumar assured an assistance of Rs 20 lakh for the construction of a water body, construction of drain and other requirements in the village. He made the assurance after villagers submitted a memorandum regarding the requirement for a water reservoir for the village.
Stating that the festival will give an opportunity and a platform to the farmers to cultivate more kiwi and work harder to increase the production, he said all must come forward to cooperate and support the farmers. He also observed that with the advent of the festival, the people of the State will get awareness regarding the health benefits of kiwi consumption.
Acknowledging that the pisciculture is practiced widely in Purul and adjoining areas, he said he will contact the concerned department so that the villagers can get more help from the department concerned. Stating that all possible help will be given to the villagers, he appealed to the villagers to gradually stop practicing the jhum cultivation. He further appealed to the villagers to come forward in conserving and protecting the environment and the wildlife stating that human beings cannot live without them.