Imphal: 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 on Sunday.

The first consignment of 1.2 metric ton (MT) to Gurgaon and Jaipur was flagged off by additional chief secretary P Vaiphei from Bir Tikendrajit International Airport.

Krooshi Karma Naturals Private Limited, Imphal in collaboration with Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA) has set a target to export at least 250 MT of pineapple to Gurgaon, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Jaipur. It will benefit around 900 farmers.

Pineapple farmers in Manipur have earned over Rs 78 lakh during the period 2018–2020 by exporting around 220 MT of the fruit outside the state. The efforts of the firm and MOMA shall boost the confidence of farmers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, around 220 MT was exported.

Krooshi Karma Naturals Private Limited, Imphal in collaboration with Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA) has set a target to export at least 250 MT of pineapple to Gurgaon, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Jaipur

Taking to his Facebook page, chief minister N Biren Singh said: “it gives me great hope for our farmers that the state govt. has started airlifting Manipuri pineapples even during this Covid-19 pandemic. The Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA) in collaboration with Krooshi Karma Naturals Pvt. Ltd. Imphal has set an ambitious target to market over 250 MT of high quality pineapples of the State, thereby benefiting over 900 farmers of Manipur.”

With MOMA’s support in terms of local transportation, connecting organic farmers and provision of corrugated boxes, the firms which have been facilitating the exports have been able to scale up and venture into new markets. In this process, the farmers have benefited to the tune of several crores of rupees, he added.

Apart from pineapple, the company has also been marketing kiwi and avocado outside the state since 2018. It has made huge strides in facilitating and enabling a business ecosystem for pineapple marketing by increasing the 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. The pineapple being marketed is mainly the queen variety, cultivated in Thayong, Andro and Chiru-Waithou areas.

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Fresh queen pineapple of the state has good demand in different markets of the country. Various firms have marketed more than 800 MT of fresh fruits and spices outside the state this year with institutional support from MOMA benefitting a large number of farmers of the state.

Speaking on the occasion, additional chief secretary P Vaiphei said that there is nothing to worry about the market by farmers now. Under a market intervention scheme, he said, 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 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 facing the COVID-19 pandemic. The additional chief secretary also urged the farmers to contact MOMA to sell their produces.

MOMA project director K Devdutta Sharma and Imphal Airport Director Alok Nath also attended the flagging off ceremony.

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