Imphal: Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh on Wednesday handed over a cheque of Rs 1 lakh each to Augustina Awungshi Shimray and Ringphami Thingshung from Ukhrul district for their successful venture into apple farming for the first time in the hill district.

The young farmers had called visited the chief minister and gifted him a basket of their first harvest from their apple orchards, which was started in 2019.

Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh handing over a cheque of Rs 1 lakh to apple farmers from Ukhrul district

Appreciating their venture, the CM also announced that the state government will sponsor them to train farmers interested in apple farming through Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA).

Taking to his Twitter handle, the CM said: “It was very encouraging to meet Ms Awungshi Shimray Augustina who had successfully harvested over 150 kg of apples from her orchard in Poi village, Ukhrul. Augustina’s bold decision to experiment with an apple orchard and subsequently harvesting it successfully has shown an avenue on how our farmers can diversify into profitable crops.”

In a place like Manipur, the knowledge about diversification into profitable crops can play a significant role in transforming the poppy affected areas as well, he added.

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, farmers, mostly youth, in Ukhrul district have harvested a good amount of apples this year as part of the pilot project being initiated by the North East Council (NEC).

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In 2019, around 20 youths belonging to various villages in Ukhrul district went to attend a workshop on apple cultivation in Himachal Pradesh organised by NEC and sponsored through the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research in a mission to reach out to Northeast villages to experiment with a pilot project of apple cultivation.

So far, the apple produce by the farmers and its texture and taste is exceptionally good and it has a high marketable standard.

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