Organic products are cultivated by farmers in Manipur under the central scheme Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region (MOVCD-NER). The scheme aims at promotion and production of certified organic commodities focusing on export oriented crops – oranges of Tamenglong, lemons of Kachai (Ukhrul), pineapple, king chilli, ginger, turmeric as horti crops and chakhao (black aromatic rice) as agri crop. The scheme has covered a total area of 5,000 hectares, out of which 2,000 hectares has been allotted for agri crop and 3,000 hectares for horti crops.
Horticulture and Soil Conservation Department director K. Kipgen said the Indian state of Manipur at this time has a potential area of 270,000 hectares of land for cultivation of horticultural products. Kipgen added that 20 million rupees (250,000 euros) has been allocated to the Indian Council for Agricultural Research in Imphal, for quality lab analysis to study/test horticultural products. He further said the department is working on potato microtuber production at the Mao Potato Farm, Senapati district.
K Devdutta Sharma, MOMA project officer said the State has set a target to cultivate 400 metric tonne ginger this year and buyers have been identified. Stating that the agriculture department implements the cultivation of chakhao, he said there is plan for collaborating with the Centre for e-auction of the organic produces. MOMA is an implementing agency and there is no such guideline of the Ministry that it has to purchase farmers’ produces, he added.
He said, the farmers need to cultivate organic crops continuously for three years to get fully certified organic status. He informed that organic outlet has been opened in front of horticulture and soil conservation department office and all the organic products of the State will be sold under the brand name Organic Manipur.
N Ningthemjao Singh, agriculture officer said the State has identified two crops quinoa and chia seeds (flaxseed) which can be an alternative crop for the poppy cultivators. Under the NEC funded project “Promotion of Integrated Horticulture Farming System in Shifting Cultivation Areas of Manipur”, these two crops were introduced in 14 villages in hill districts in 2017-18.
The quinao seeds which is sold in the Indian consumer market at Rs 5,00-1,000 per kg is expected to generate revenue of Rs 15 lakhs if cultivated a hectare of land. On the other hand, the Chia seeds which are sold in the Indian consumer market at Rs 1,000-2,000, can generate revenue of Rs 10 lakhs if cultivated on a hectare of land.