IMPHAL, June 8: The first ever Watermelon Festival, 2012 has begun today at Iboyaima Shanglen, Palace Compound here organized by Nahakpam Foundation for Development (NDF).
In the keynote address, Nahakpam Shanta, secretary NDF said it has been a challenge to organize this festival as the number of watermelon growers in the state is very low so availability of this product is naturally low.
He, however, insisted that such festival will surely provide a platform in encouraging the people to expand watermelon farming in the state. The NDF has planned to publish a booklet which will help in modernizing and increasing the product of watermelon in the state.
Watermelons flowing from the commercial town Moreh are now dominating the state markets, Shanta pointed out. He said the current cost of a watermelon is Rs 30 per kg but people can buy it only at Rs 20 in the festival.
M Kuber Singh, Joint Director Horticulture and Soil Conservation, Government of Manipur , Ng Maimu Chief Food Technologist Horticulture Department GOM and Meisnam Chinglen Associate Professor Deptt of Economics attended the inaugural function as chief guest, president and guest of honour respectively.