IMPHAL July 4: The 4th edition of Pineapple fair cum Youth festival was inaugurated yesterday at Yairipok under Andro A/C at the Thambalnu market complex. The 5 days fair cum youth festival is being organized by the Development organization Andro Kendra under the sponsorship of the state horticulture and soil conservation with prime objectives to provide technical know how to local farmers on Pineapple plantation and cultivation and to set up an alternative industry for employment generation of local rural farmers for their economic welfare.
The inaugural function was presided over by Th. Shyamkumar MLA Andro a/c while Ng. Bijoy MLA Khurai a/c, S. Joy Singh, MLA Wangoi a/c and Th. (o) Babita as the chief guest and guests of honour respectively.
Th. Shyamkumar, during his presidential speech, mentioned that the pineapple fair was organized under certain agendas such as to infuse productive mindset to the rural farmers by giving technical inputs from experts on pineapple cultivation and to provide marketing support. Annually tons of pineapple is produced from this part of the state alone, as the area is well suited for pineapple cultivation, however, he stated that in the past with no adequate marketing platform alongside with no proper fruit processing unit available, most of the fruits were wasted.
He further mentioned that the fair cum youth festival was organized to give marketing support and to boost the morale of local pineapple cultivators. He added that the DOAC’s installation of a mini processing unit in 2008 in the market complex of Thambalnu has benefited the local farmers from wastage of their products.
Speaking at the function as the chief guest, Khurai MLA Ng Bijoy while seconding a suggestion from one of the experts present at the function, maintained that he endorse the suggestion of the experts which calls for other productive initiatives instead of the NRGES scheme which in the name of rural employment scheme is a wastage of public funds.
He further added that self employment opportunity can be provided to the local farmers with technical and know how inputs on the subject matter from relevant experts on a regular basis.
He also opined that social sectors should be emphasized mainly. He further opined that knowledge plays a pivotal role in developing society and thus, knowledge should be accentuated for the economic welfare of rural masses. Taking the problems faced by local pineapple cultivators, he added that without proper marketing support, it is impossible for economic development.
Later, during his speech he appealed to all to be more health conscious. He appealed the farmers to be more sensitive towards using chemical fertilizers and reasoned that the main cause of the problematic gallbladder stone, which has become very common nowadays, is from indirect consumption of such chemical fertilizers used by the farmers during cultivation.
A sizable number of people were present during the inaugural function besides other guests and invitees.
The inaugural function was also marked by the recitation from religious books and traditional dances performed by different communities were presented. Altogether, more than 150 stall participated in the fair.
Later in the afternoon, major traffic congestion snarled many Kang (traditional termed for Rath yatra) enthusiasts and festival goers till late in the evening due to massive overflow of commuters heading from Imphal and from Thoubal towards the venue of the festival.