IMPHAL | Dec 6 : On the occasion of the 14th State Level Orange Festival, horticulture and soil conservation minister, Thounaojam Shyamkumar announced Rs. 50 lakh assistance today for setting up of a cold storage in Tamenglong district, under the Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) for the year 2017-2018.
The minister also announced Rs. 13.75 lakh grant for setting up of rural markets in Tamei and other suitable areas in the district. Further, Rs.12 lakh assistance in aid of primary processing unit for farmers was also declared.
In his inaugural address, minister, Th. Shyamkumar expressed his happiness at being able to attend the Orange festival for the first time although he had visited the district three times in the past. Stating that progeny orchid farm needed to be revived, he stressed the necessity for a series of awareness program to increase the production of oranges in Tamenglong.
Furthermore, he stated that the horticulture and soil conservation department is sending a proposal for procurement of fund up to Rs. 15 crores for 2018-2019 from North Eastern Council (NEC) for the production of Tamenglong orange, Senapati kiwi, Kachai lemon, pineapples of Imphal East and Churachandpur. That, the department received Rs. 14 crore NEC fund for floriculture projects in Sendra, Andro and Shirui, for the year 2017-2018, he added.
The minister also mentioned that budget will be allocated from the next financial year in order to promote bamboo production in the district.
Additionally, he assured to increase the prizes for the best orange growers with Rs. 2 lakh, Rs 1 lakh and Rs. 75,000 for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd position, respectively and Rs. 6000 each as consolation prizes for all the participating farmers.
In the said function, DC Tamenglong, Armstrong Pame requested the minister to help the farmers of the district in getting organic certification as they do not use fertilisers. He also informed the gathering that more than 120 stalls are displaying 2 lakh oranges in the festival by farmers from all corners of the district.
On the first day of the festival, MLA Tamenglong AC, Samuel Jendai, flagged off a cycling race, ‘Tour de Tamenglong’, which 28 cyclists took part.
The highlights of the entire festival which will be held from 6-10 at the Lower Ground, Tamenglong, include rock shows, talent competitions, Orange Queen competition, seminars and many others.
The inaugural function of the State Level Orange Festival organised by the district administration Tamenglong was also attended by MLA Tamenglong AC, Samuel Jendai, MLA Tamei AC, Awangbow Newmai, Chairman ADC Tamenglong, DC Thoubal, and officials of various government departments.
Source: Imphal Free Press