Imphal, June 14: Pineapple farmers in Manipur have earned over Rs. 78 lakh during the period 2018 – 2020 by exporting around 220 metric ton (MT) of pineapples outside the state.

After the successful run of pineapple export in the previous years, airlifting of fresh organic pineapples grown in different parts of Manipur has begun for the current year, said Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA), a government undertaking.

This year’s first consignment of 1.2 MT of pineapples for Gurgaon and Jaipur was flagged off by P. Vaiphei, Additional Chief Secretary of Manipur, from Bir Tikendrajit International Airport.

Krooshi Karma Naturals Private Limited, Imphal in collaboration with MOMA has targeted to export at least 250 MT of pineapple to Gurgaon, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, and Jaipur.

Apart from pineapples, the MOMA and the private firm have also been marketing Kiwi fruit and avocado outside the state since 2018.

This will benefit around 900 farmers and the efforts shall boost the confidence of farmers during the Covid-19 pandemic, said MOMA.

“It has made huge strides in facilitating and enabling business ecosystem for pineapple marketing by increasing linkage between organic pineapple growers and buyers every year. The support of MOMA in terms of assistance towards local transportation, connecting organic farmers, and provision of corrugated boxes to the firm has been pivotal in the success of this venture”, said the agency.

The pineapple being marketed is mainly the Queen variety, cultivated in Thayong, Andro and Chiru-Waithou areas. The fresh Queen pineapples have great demand in different parts of the country.

Other private firms also marketed more than 800 MT of fresh fruits and spices outside Manipur this year with institutional support from MOMA, benefitting a large number of farmers.

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“There is nothing to worry about the market by farmers now. Under a market intervention scheme, the state government had created a corpus fund of Rs. 3 crore to buy all the horticulture produces from farmers and store it in cold storages for supply to different markets”, Vaiphei added.

Vaiphei also said that it is a matter of satisfaction that with dedicated efforts from MOMA, Manipur had been able to export organic pineapples to different cities for the fourth consecutive year despite the pandemic.