CS visits kiwi orchards, interacts with farmers

ZIRO, 1 Nov: Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar, accompanied by Agriculture & Horticulture Minister Tage Taki visited the kiwi orchards here in Lower Subansiri district to obtain firsthand information about the rapidly growing kiwi plantations, and to interact with the kiwi growers.

Kumar also visited the high-altitude kiwi garden of Kallung Bida, the Kiwi Research Centre in Monipolyang, the low-chilling apple orchards at Supyu, and the free-range poultry farm at Lempia.

After interacting with the farmers, the chief secretary suggested setting up an integrated kiwi grading centre to be operated by the Kiwi Growers’ Society (KGS).

Considering the woes of the farmers due to damage caused to their cash crops by wind and rains during pollination and flowering season, Kumar gave assurance that he would to look into the matter and provide hailstone shed/net to the farmers.

Spread across 834 hectares, the kiwi orchards in Ziro had produced 2,575 mt kiwis last year.

Taki said that another 3,200 hectares of land can be brought under kiwi cultivation.

“Although, at first glance, Ziro might look like a small place, but when venturing deeper into the hills, there is no dearth of land,” the minister, who led the chief secretary to the kiwi gardens at higher altitudes, said.

Proprietor of Himalayan Kiwi, Hage Tare, who has been growing kiwis at higher altitudes, spoke about the trials and tribulations he went through while growing the fruit.

Around 8 to 10 mt kiwis are produced every year in his eight-hectare orchards, which earns him around Rs 10-12 lakhs per annum.

Later, the chief secretary and the minister interacted with the members of the SHGs shortlisted for the Atmanirbhar Bagwani Yojana (ANBY) and the ANKY-2021 at the Himalayan Heritage Centre in Kasa.

Stating that the success of these schemes depends upon the performance of the SHGs, Kumar expressed hope that “the womenfolk of Ziro will set a yardstick for others to follow, especially in agriculture and horticulture sectors.”

Out of 34 SHGs that had applied for benefits under the ANBY, 32 have been considered.

During the visit, the chief secretary was also accompanied by DC Somcha Lowang, Atmanirbhar Yojana Mission Director Minga Sherpa, and Civil Aviation Secretary Swapnil Naik, besides officials from the horticulture and agriculture departments and members of the KGS. (DIPRO)