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Is Kiwi the Next Big Cash Crop of Arunachal Pradesh | Food and Education

Is Kiwi the Next Big Cash Crop of Arunachal Pradesh?
Is Kiwi the Next Big Cash Crop of Arunachal Pradesh?

Is the kiwifruit the state's next big cash crop?

It was in the month of October last year (2020) that Arunachal Pradesh emerged as the first state in India to obtain organic certification for kiwifruit.  The certification was granted by the Development Mission of Organic Value Chains for the Northeast Region (MOVCD-NER).  An organic certification in India can only be obtained after a strict scientific evaluation is carried out by a regulatory body.  In this case, the Authority for the Promotion of Exports of Agrifood and Processed Products (APEDA) evaluated the kiwi harvest in the region to ensure that no chemical fertilizers or pesticides were used in the process of growing the product.

Not long ago, on 27th November 2021, Union Law Minister Shri KIren Rijiju together with Ministry of Agriculture Shri Kailesh Choudhary launched a 6 MT shipment of Ziro organic kiwifruit at the mega Tribal Festival National held at Delhi Haat.  Subsequently, a live cooking session was held where dishes made with kiwi were shown and a tasting of samples was carried out by the dignitaries present.  The occasion was also officially recognized and appreciated by Hon'ble PMO Shri Narendra Modi when he called the fruit "delicious" and a necessity in households.

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How did a fruit from the remote state of Arunachal Pradesh get to the heart of India?

The fact is that although the state of Arunachal Pradesh is only now catching up with various development projects, the region has always shown great potential when it comes to agriculture, horticulture and tourism.

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The state benefits from varied agroclimatic conditions and favorable topography, making it ideal for its flourishing.  If we look back about twenty years ago, kiwis used to grow abundantly in the wild regions of the Ziro Valley.  But at the time, it generated no potential market value from buyers and often lay rotting on the ground.  The limited viability of the fruit back then is attributed to geographical limitations and a lack of cold storage facilities.

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However, with the changing times, the combined efforts of local businessmen and the farming community have enabled the kiwis to fetch a decent market value.  It was in the year 2000, when a national variety of kiwi produced in Arunachal was commercially introduced for the first time.  The exotic fruit has since gained popularity and received organic certification from APEDA under the Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North East region (MOVCD-NER) in 2020.

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With this new milestone, Arunachal Pradesh becomes the first state to receive organic certification for kiwifruit, drawing national attention.  The recognition will not only bring commercial benefits to local kiwifruit growers and greatly stimulate the local economy, it will also put Arunachal Pradesh in the national spotlight as a potential producer that will open a door for other potential products from the state.

Courtesy: Komal Sharma, Direct News 99