U-Morok

1728

Sir,
I had come across the article in Economic times dated 9 September about ” U-Morok” being patented as “Bhut Jolokia” and companies like ITC ,a major player in FMCG, looking out for opportunities to export the same.

And to my deep regret, there was never a mention of Manipur in the article. The very indigenous ” U-Morok” has been a part and parcel of all the Manipur cuisines and it flavours. So who better than Manipur and its people would have a rightful claim to it.

Putting aside the claim factor, when a major player like ITC strikes a deal for its export, it would be a grand opportunity for the state to foster its economic growth through the mass production and export of  one of its most indigenous spices.

So looking at it, i also see a way to drive economic growth with this opportunity. So why not take this chance and work on it for the very develpoment of the state.For a  state which is regressing instead of progressing , this would be one opportunity that we all should not let go away.

Plz find the article below which appeared in the economic times today , 9th of September:

Bhut Jolokia gets ready for ‘spicy’ launch
The fiery ‘Bhut Jolokia’ which customarily grew in the backyards of houses in the North East, is getting ready for a global commercial launch. The Bhut Jolakias, once touted to be the world’s hottest chillis, till it lost its ‘spicy’ sobriquet to the Lincolnshire variety recently, is a key ingredient sought after by FMCG majors, pharma companies and the army.

Harshajyoti Barooah, who works at the Assam agriculture department, said companies such as FMCG major ITC are looking for opportunities to export this chilli. “We are in talks with ITC on the modalities of exporting this chilli. Even local entrepreneurs are exporting this chillies to Australia, USA, UK and Israel. Till a few months ago, these chillies were only grown in the backyard of houses. Therefore, we hardly had any data about the production figures. But now, these chillies are being produced in farms. As of now, we have not decided to trade this commodity in the commodity exchanges. We will look into it once the volume picks up.”

Mr Sonjoy Changkakaty, owner of Green Cover Overseas, which deals with the processing, trading and exporting of spices, herbs, aromatic oils and minor forest products said, “We have exported 10 tonnes of ‘Bhut Jolokia’ to UK till date this year. “ Chilli farmers get sops
“WE keep on exporting small quantities (500-600 kg) to the US and UK. The chilli season is starting this October and we hope to get big overseas orders,” he said. As an incentive for farmers to take up the Bhut Jolokia cultivation more seriously, the agriculture department will give 5,000 per 1.67 acre as incentive, said Harshajyoti Barooah. Around 2,000 farmers are growing the crop on 700 hectares in Golaghat, Baksa and Nagaon districts.

While the price of Bhut Jolokia varies from 1500 to 2,000 per kg in the international markets, it is priced at 300 to 600 per kg locally.

The plant will get a GI (Geographical Indication) tag which will protect this unique chilli’s name from the threat of lookalikes in the world market, says Barooah ‘Bhut Jolokia’ has multiple uses which is fuelling the demand for organised cultivation of the crop. It has medicinal values and can also be used in grenades.

Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a chilli grenade that can be used by army and other paramilitary forces in low intensity warfare.

This ‘chilli grenade’ will explode like any other grenade and the smoke coming out of it can bring tears to the eyes and even choke your lungs. DRDO scientists are also working to find out another applications of this chilli whereby the army jawans can use the product in some way to keep them warm in high altitudes, said Mr Barooah.

Yours faithfully,
Lakshmi Gurumayum.

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