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Nagaland: Cucumber Festival Aliba 2022 underway

By Imrongkumba Aier Updated: May 11, 2022 10:31 pm
M Ben Yanthan and dignitaries visiting the stalls during the festival in Aliba village, Mokokchung on May 11. (EM Images)

Our Correspondent

Mokokchung, May 11 (EMN): Cucumber Festival Aliba 2022, the first of its kind in the state to promote and highlight  the potential of the crop in terms of economic return and its health benefits got underway at Aliba village in Mokokchung district on Wednesday.

M Ben Yanthan, Director of Agriculture and SNO ATMA, Nagaland, who was the special invitee of the event, acknowledged the innovator, Late Burremba Pongen, who first experimented the crop with sheer determination and patience, which yielded promising results 37-38 years ago.

“His successful Indigenous Technical Knowledge (ITK) was not kept for himself  alone but shared among his fellow farmers, which has opened up a source of opportunity and earning for sustenance of other farmers too”, he said lauding the  innovator.

He also asserted that, “Late Burremba Pongen’s footprint and legacy will continue to remain with us and the farming community” and claimed that his brilliant achievement and contribution deserved to be named as the most successful progressive farmer in the state.

He also shared that the Naga tree tomato with the GI Tag has not been popular and did not meet its purpose because it has been cultivated only in small pockets in the state.

In this connection, the director urged the farmers of Aliba to help expand and transfer this innovative off-season cucumber idea to other parts of the state to have more impact. Aliba cucumber GI tag of Mokokchung district can be widely expanded and cultivated in a larger scale across states having the same attitude and climatic condition, he added.

“If any help or assistance is required, the Agriculture department is ready to guide and assist”, he informed the farmers.

Keynote speaker, Dr. I Amenla, Joint Director, ATMA asserted that it was a befitting celebration to pay tribute to the founding father of the off-season cucumber cultivation, who have given  the village, a permanent dot on the crop map of Nagaland.

In this connection, she said that the next challenge is for the younger generation to pursue value addition by setting up micro-enterprises/agri-business units of cucumber based soap, cream, toothpaste, facial wash, body lotion, pickles etc. 

Later, the director released a book on “Off-Season Cucumber Cultivation” and also handed over a certificate of recognition to Lolentsula, wife of Late Burremba Pongen followed by the inauguration of the stalls put up by different Self-Help Groups (SHGs).

Late Burremba Pongen first pioneered in experimenting the crop in the year 1984-85, which helped the farmers and transformed Aliba into a “Cucumber village.”

Today, this innovative cultivation method is successfully adopted by the farming families of Aliba, Chungtia and Kinunger villages.

The two-day festival (May 11 to 12th) is jointly organised by ATMA, Urban Home Solution Kohima, Rural Development department, Hills Agro Agency Kohima, Eastern Agro Marketing Agencies Guwahati and EASTMAN CAST and FORGE Ltd. Ludhiana Punjab.

It should be mentioned that the event’s display stands, which were packed with cucumbers and other local food, ran out of their stock within hours of the event’s debut but organisers pledged that more additional produce would be available on the second day.

By Imrongkumba Aier Updated: May 11, 2022 10:31:19 pm