16 MT pineapples lifted from Jiribam, sold

STAFF REPORTER
IMPHAL, 5th Jul: With the stated objective to mitigate problems faced by pineapple growers of Jiribam district in marketing their harvested produce due to imposition of lockdown, Horticulture & Soil Conservation Department has committed to purchase 100 metric tonne (MT) of pineapples from the district.
The Department took the initiative of bailing out the farmers in distress in sync with the directive of the chief minister. Consequently, the first consignment of 16 MT of pineapples from the district was transported from the district to the Sanjenthong office of the Directorate of Horticulture & Soil Conservation on Sunday and the said consignment was immediately supplied to food processing industries such as Thangjam Agro Industries Private Limited and Meira Foods.
Speaking on the occasion, Horticulture & Soil Conservation director N Joymati informed that every year pineapple growers of Jiribam district sold their produce in the neighbouring state of Assam but imposition of the lockdown derailed the marketing mechanism this season.
As wastage of the harvested pineapple was imminent, the chief minister advised the Department to bulk purchase the fruit item from the Jiribam farmers and market them to potential buyers.
In follow-up action of Department’s earlier declaration to purchase 100 metric tonnes of pineapple from farmers, the first consignment of 16 MT pineapples was lifted on Sunday, out of which 8 MT was bought by Thangjam Agro Industries Private Limited which markets its products under ‘Likla’ brand name, while 2 MT has been sold to Meira Foods. The remaining consignment will be kept at the cold storage of Manipur Food Corporation Industries Limited for sale to interested buyers, she said.
Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA) project director K Devdutta Sharma stated that Thangjam Agro Industries Private Limited has shown interest in further purchase of 50 MT pineapples from Jiribam. Plans have also been made to sell the rest of the consignments to other food processing units and agencies.
Marketing of pineapples kept at cold storage along with its export to other states will commence within this week, he added. Devdutta also confided that with the initiation of Market Intervention Scheme by chief minister N Biren Singh, farmers will now no more face the problems of seeing their produce perish without reaching the customers due to lockdown. Apart from pineapple, MOMA plans to purchase other perishable food items also, he said. The director further pointed out that cost of each pineapple brought from Jiribam to Imphal is about Rs 18-19.
While pointing out the larger size of the Jiribam pineapples is suitable for food processing units, he suggested that any food processing unit or agency interested in buying the same may contact MOMA for necessary assistance.


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