Imphal (Manipur) [India], July 8 (ANI): Apples were not cultivated much in Manipur's Ukhrul earlier due to low yield and demand, but now young farmers here are cultivating delicious and juicy varieties of the fruit.
Behind every successful adaption of a technique, there is an entire history that binds it together, and more importantly, it's the people who keep the tradition alive. India is a country known for its agriculture and many people went out of their way to practise it. One such example is Ringphami Thingshung, 35, a young engineer turned farmer, who is a resident of Hungpung village in Dungrei.
Thingshung, who is one of the two who received an award worth Rs 1 lakh for apple cultivation from Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh recently, said that he planted 90 apple saplings in his backyard orchard as a trial under the pilot project sponsored by North Eastern Region Community Resource Management Project (NERCORMP) Ukhrul under North Eastern Council (NEC) in 2019.
He said, "Eighty-five trees are surviving and all are bearing fruits. I have gathered around 200 kg of them this season but since it was my first harvest, I decided not to sell off even a single one of them and offered them as freebies to friends and relatives."
The successful initiative of Ringphami Thingshung made him not only one of the proud owners of high-yielding apple plants in orchards and set them across different villages of Hungpung, Litan, Shokvao and Koso. While explaining the different varieties of fruits and classifying them under different types, he said Ana and Golden Dorsett are bearing fruits after two years and two others namely, Kala and Red Fuji will bear fruits in the third year of the plantation.
A joint venture taken up by two other young men Sandosh Horam and Somayo Kashung at Litan and Shokvao villages is apparently making the most out of their first harvest this season.
Sandosh Horam said, "One of our orchards at Shokvao has 1,300 plants and out of them, around 600 trees bore fruits this year. The other at Litan has 180 trees." He added, "Harvest time was in June and despite the lockdown, they could sell the fruits to many buyers who came right to their orchards."
"From our farm at Shokvao, around 500 kg of apples were harvested which fetched us Rs 40,000 and we got around Rs 30,000 from the other farm at Litan which had a yield of around 250-300 kg," he said.
He said, "I believe there are some more farmers who are successfully taking up apple cultivation in our district." Around 20 trainees from the district had received training on apple cultivation in Himachal Pradesh in 2019. This was under the sponsorship of North Eastern Council (NEC) which was under the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiative.
People like Sandosh, Somayo and Thingshung have set an example for other farmers to follow. (ANI)