Five tonne Kachai lemon adorn annual festival 2017

UKHRUL, 22nd JAN: Notwithstanding the difficulties faced by the farmers such as insufficient rainfall and infestation, etc., production of Kachai Lemon recorded over 5 tonnes this year. The annual yield is calculated on the basis of display/sale of the citrus fruit during the Kachai Festival, which is held every year on January 20 at Kachai village in Ukhrul district. Over 250 lemon growers of Kachai participated in the event organised by Kachai Farming & Processing Co-operative Society and supported by Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA), Manipur Tourism and Manipur State AIDS Control Society.

      Speaking to the media, chairman of the cooperative society Kensith Horam lamented that despite getting the prestigious GI tag, production of Kachai Lemon and its popularity could not be augmented as expected by the growers. Alleging that the state government is according importance and attention to Kachai Lemon growers, he also conveyed that the local farmers have decided to adopt organic farming with the assistance of MOMA, a unit of Department of Horticulture.

       The Lemon Festival which featured a buyer-seller meet and an organic workshop conducted by MOMA, was also marked by presentation of awards to lemon growers with scientists of ICAR as juries. The prize winners were decided after the jury members examined size, juice content and ascorbic acid content of the citrus fruit.

       V Ngamreila Sira bagged the top honour while K Rosy and Shoima Vashum respectively secured the second and third positions. The three best exhibitors’ awards went to Theimi Vashum, Ringmichon Vashum and RK Ningtharla.

       Kachai lemon is among the top 10 horticultural products from North East India to have got the GI tag and it has the highest ascorbic acid among the citrus fruits. The lemon festival started in 2005 to encourage lemon growers and promote Kachai lemon itself.

        Additional director of Horticulture and Soil Conservation, government of Manipur AS Ningmi and district horticulture officer (Ukhrul) M Kiran were respectively chief guest and president of the inaugural function of the festival which was also attended by K Jogeshchandra Sharma, office-in-charge Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture, Manipur and K Debadutta Sharma, CEO MOMA as guests of honour.

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