Biren flags off shipment of pineapples from Imphal airport
IMPHAL, July 12: Amidst drooping economy due to coronavirus pandemic, the Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA), started exporting locally grown organic pineapples to different cities through air cargo at Bir Tikendrajit International Airport, Imphal from Sunday which was flagged off by chief minister N Biren Singh.
A total of around 220MT of queen variety pineapples are to be airlifted in different phases to cities like, Delhi, Mumbai, Ludhiana (Chandigarh), etc. with assistance from a local private company known as Krooshi-Karma Naturals Pvt. Ltd.
Notably, these pineapples were grown and produced under the Phase-II of Mission Organic Value Chain Development for the North East Region (MOVCDNER). Out of the total targeted quantity of 220MT set for this year, the first air shipment of 1.2MT was flagged off on Sunday three days after the state government starting purchasing 100 MT of pineapples from Jiribam district from the corpus fund of Rs 3 crore created for this purpose by the Government, the CM informed during the function.
“Demand for locally grown organic pineapples has witnessed a steep rise in different cities in the past couple of years due to its unique taste and dedicated efforts from MOMA, the agency which comes under the Department of Horticulture and Social Conservation, Government of Manipur,” the CM said.
During 2018 and 2019, the agency exported a total of 250MT of organic pineapples to cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Mumbai etc.
Later talking to reporters, Singh, who also holds the Horticulture and Soil Conservation portfolio, said that farmers need not worry for the market to sell their produce now. Assuring that the Government would buy all their products, the chief minister asked the shopkeepers to sell all the items as per the prices fixed by the Government.
“The Government would be compelled to take action against the erring shopkeepers and traders if they continue to charge exorbitant prices from the people at this time of hardship,” the CM said in response to a query by a journalist regarding price hike.
Concerning the hardships faced by the people during the COVID pandemic across the globe the CM observed that Manipur would become a self-sufficient and self-reliant state only when its agriculture and horticulture products are increased by giving thrust to these sectors.
Mentioning about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popular slogan, ‘Vocal for Local’, the Chief Minister opined that the State needs to work hard to change and upgrade indigenous and local products into the items of global standard. “This would serve as a lucrative means for generating income for farmers and people of the State,” he said adding that the Government would always extend all possible support and also award incentives to hard working farmers.