“Cold storage to be set up at Andro before 2012 election”

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IMPHAL July 7: A cold storage plant will be set up at Andro before the next general election which is scheduled on February 2012.

This was announced by the MLA of Andro assembly constituency Thounaoujam Syamkumar today at the conclusive function of the 4th State Level Pineapple fair cum Youth Festival, 2011 held at Thambalnu Market complex, Kaina Lamkhai at Andro today.

The MLA in his address stated that the festival has been organized by the Development Organization, Andro kendra since 2008. The festival is an endeavor for the farmers of the area who are producing cash crops including pineapple as the main product to strive for economic independence.

He said that the fruits have been produced by the farmers, but due to lack of buyers and proper storage have only spelt financial loss for the pineapple farmers, the cold storage facility which will be set up from the MLA local area development fund will address the problem, he said.

Shyamkumar further appealed to the gathering that the public of his constituency should propagate a proper work culture, education and sport activities for overall development of the area.

The closing function was graced by Brig. Navneet Kumar, DIG of 9 sector, col. Sanjoy Ghosh, CO of 15 Assam Rifles, col. Sanjeev Kumar, CO of 28 AR and social worker Th Babita Devi as the chief guest, president and guests of honor respectively while MLA Shyamkumar attended the function as a special guest.

Brigadier Navneet also congratulated the farmers for their hard work and for the accomplishment of such a mega festival. He said that the pineapples of the region are the best as compared to others from different parts of the globe and further wished success on the future endeavors of the farmers. He added that the introduction of a cold storage plant will further enhance business prospects and provide facilities for export of the local product to other countries.

President of Development Organization, Andro Kendra, Md Faqrruddin said that the festival began from July 3 and is being held annually to aid the farmers.

He said that the 4th pineapple fair saw 160 stalls and sales of more than Rs three lakhs. He said that the farmers targeted a production of 300 metric tons but was able to achieve 280 MT only.

“So far, we have been planting local varieties, but a new variety from Kerela called Mauritius Pineapple has been introduced into the Pineapple fair from this year, it flowers late and ripens around August, so we are positive that pineapple will be available on a perennial status.”

The conclusion of the festival was marked by a musical concert. A huge crowd turned up to buy pineapples at the last day and enjoy the festivities.

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