Imphal, January 19: Manipur Kachai Lemon Festival kicked off recording over highest production of lemons. Despite insufficient rainfall and increase in insect occurrence, the annual yield of the Kachai lemon recorded over 5 metric tonnes this year. This figure was recorded as products sold in the annual lemon festival held every year.
Over 250 lemon growers of Kachai participated in the event organized by the Kachai Farming & Processing Co-operative Society and supported by Manipur Organic Mission Agency, MOMA , Manipur Tourism and Manipur State AIDS Control Society, MSACS, Government of Manipur.
Speaking to the media, Kensith Horam, the Chairman of the Cooperative Society lamented that despite getting the prestigious GI tag, Kachai Lemon production and popularity has not augmented as expect and blamed the government of Manipur saying due importance and attention was not given. Kachai lemon farmers have decided to go organic and they are being assisted in this direction by MOMA, Department of Horticulture, the government of Manipur, he added.
The Lemon Festival featured a buyer-seller meet and an organic workshop conducted by MOMA, also gave away awards to lemon growers with scientists of ICAR as juries who judged the fruits on their size, the juice content and their ascorbic acid content. V. Ngamreila Sira bagged the best Kachai lemon, K Rosy got the second best, Shoima Vashum the third best and three best exhibitor’s awards went to Theimi Vashum, Ringmichon Vashum and RK Ningtharla.
Kachai lemon is one among the ten horticultural products from North East India to have got the GI tags and has the highest ascorbic acid, the highest so far in citrus fruit. The lemon festival is the 13th edition having started the annual observance in 2005 to promote and encourage lemon grower and the kachai lemon itself.