Officials encourage people to take up kiwi farming
Kohima, Sep. 21 (EMN): Nagaland is charting out strategies and modalities to optimise kiwi production, from upscaling produce to market linkages and management.
This was revealed by Deputy Director of Horticulture (DDH) Meyasashi in his keynote address on handholding training on kiwi fruit under MOVCD-NER for Kohima district at Garden of Hope, Jotsoma on Tuesday.
He said that the department had conducted a series of meetings with its advisor and had decided to upscale the same. He added that the department had also identified potential areas, quality sapling, area expansion of plantation areas and value chain in a step to boost that mission.
The official informed that Horticulture department had already instituted a Farmer Producer Company (FPC) for kiwi producers and registered it with its generic name ‘Changsu’.
Informing the economic viability of kiwi over the years since its plantation was initiated in the state in 2001, he said the fruit was suitable and adaptable to the climatic condition of the state. ‘Kiwi is growing very well,’ he added.
Meyasashi informed that kiwi has a long shelf life if it is harvested at the right stage of maturity and kept in natural storage; shelf life is even longer if stored in cold storage. He also pointed out that there is an advantage for the farmers in the state as it has good productivity without requiring much input given the suitable nature of the soil.
Maintaining that the state does not face many problems with pests and diseases, he said the only concern is the planting system and stressed on the need for a systematic planting.
Also emphasising on the need for branding, he pointed out that the harvest season of kiwi in Nagaland and Northeast India is different with the outside market. He said the imports are mostly dependent on foreign countries where the harvest season is in early parts of the year while in the region, it is mostly cultivated by the end of the year, adding that it is an advantage.
“We need to have substantial products as we have a long way to go,” he said while stressing on increasing production to meet the demand of consumers.
He also informed that Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland are the only kiwi growing states in the country. Terming it as “privilege states” having monopoly, he urged more people in the state to take up kiwi farming.
Earlier, in his introductory remark, the district horticulture officer (DHO) of Kohima district, S Senka Jamir, stated that Nagaland is the second largest kiwi producing state as well as second in terms of coverage of plantation in the country.
He informed that Kohima district has an estimation of 563 metric tonnes for production of kiwi this year and is expecting 500 metric tonnes of harvest.
During the technical session, Mukunda Murthi Rao (Monitoring and Evaluation), Project Management Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North East Region (MOVCD-NER), urged the farmers to learn from others saying that the core objective should be to earn. He also assured all possible help to the farmers.
Meanwhile, Chinmoy Hait, (Value Chain Expert), Project Management Unit from MOVCD-NER, said that NE states have natural gifts already bestowed and the people need to make best use of it.
Hait also informed out that there are about four varieties of kiwi fruits in Northeast.