Rs 50 lakh assured for setting up Cold Storage Orange Fest kicks off on the back of promises galore

TAMENGLONG, Dec 6 (DIPR) :Horticulture and Soil Conservation Minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar today announced Rs 50 lakh (fifty lakh rupees) assistance for setting up of a cold storage in Tamenglong district.
The cold storage will be set up under the Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH).
The Minister announced this at the inaugural function of the 14th State Level Orange Festival 2017 to be held from December 6-10 at the Lower Ground, Tamenglong.
The Minister also announced Rs 13.75 lakh assistance for setting up of rural markets in Tamei and other suitable areas in the district along with Rs 12 lakh assistance for primary processing unit for the farmers. The Minister promised that the first instalment will be released before Christmas.
Addressing the gathering, Th Shyamkumar expressed his happiness on attending the Orange Festival for the first time although he had already visited the district three times earlier. Stating that Progeny Orchid Farm needs to be revived, the Minister stressed on the requirement of a series of awareness program to help increase the production of Tamenglong oranges. The Minister also instructed the district authorities to put together a list of farmers of Tamei and Tamenglong for availing soft loans.
Th Shyamkumar said that the Horticulture and Soil Conservation Department is sending a proposal of Rs 15 crore to the North Eastern Council (NEC) in 2018-2019 fiscal for production of Tamenglong orange, Senapati kiwi, Kachai lemon, pineapples of Imphal East and Churachandpur. He also said that the year 2017-2018 the department has received Rs 14 crore NEC fund for the Floriculture projects in Sendra, Andro and Shirui.
Seeking cooperation from the stakeholders for all round development of the district, the Minister said Forest and Environment Department will promote bamboo production in the district by including it in the budget from the next financial year. He also assured to increase the first prize for the best orange growers from Rs 1.75 lakh to Rs 2 lakh. The second prize will get Rs 1 lakh and Rs 75,000 for the third prize. All the participating farmers in the festival will get Rs 6,000 as consolation prizes.
Armstrong Pame, DC Tamenglong delivering his welcome speech said the Minister has promised that no orange farmers will return home empty handed as all the farmers will get their prize money on the last day of the festival. The Tamenglong DC also requested the Minister to help the farmers of the district in getting organic certification stating that farmers do not use fertilizers.
He informed the gathering that more than 120 stalls are displaying 2 lakh oranges in the festival from all corners of the district.
On the first day of the festival, Tour de Tamenglong – a cycling race was flagged off by Samuel Jendai, MLA Tamenglong AC in the morning which was participated by 28 cyclists. The highlights of the festival include rock and talent competitions, Orange Queen competition (on December 10) and seminars among others.
The State Level Orange Festival organised by the District Administration Tamenglong was attended by Samuel Jendai, MLA Tamenglong AC, Awangbow Newmai, MLA Tamei AC, ADC Tamenglong Chairman, DC Tamenglong, DC Thoubal, Government officials of various departments and locals.


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