Manipur celebrated recently its three days orange festival, and chief minister N. Biren Singh said the state government would provide loans to orange farmers and form a committee to provide them technical support to increase production and improve processing technology.
The three-day 15th state-level orange festival, organised by the Tamenglong district administration, ended earlier this week at Mini Stadium, Tamenglong.
Addressing a gathering, Biren Singh said a cold storage centre and a horticulture office would be set up at Tamenglong soon.
“Since 2014, the production of orange hasn’t increased from 43.81 metric tonnes in Tamenglong. The growers and the committee need to work together to boost the production,” he added.
A farmer said, “With the help of orange farming, I support my family and educate my six children. I market oranges at Nungba and Imphal. I earn Rs 1 lakh a year. This is my sixth time at the festival.”
“A jeep can transport only 2,000 oranges. It’s difficult to transport oranges from my farms along a 20km kutcha road to reach the Tamenglong highway. The organisers need to make proper transport arrangements,” another participant said.
Horticulture and soil conservation minister Th. Shyamkumar said, “The festival aims to motivate farmers, boost the state’s economy and attract buyers from outside. A proposal has been sent to the horticulture department for production of orange wine.”
The minister said the government will keep supporting orange farmers.
A seminar on Orange and Other Horticulture Crops: Preparations, Problems and Perspectives will be held on Sunday.
Oranges were not the only item on the menu, though. Tamenglong’s Got Talent, Orange Queen contest, night camping, trekking, rafting, kayaking, indigenous games, wall-climbing and concerts were some of the highlights of the festival.
Consumer affairs minister Karam Shyam, Tamenglong MLA Samuel Jendai and Tamei MLA Awangbou Newmai attended the event.