IMPHAL, March 10 - Kiwi fruit, a native of China, which is known as the world’s healthiest fruit because of its nutritional properties, is fast emerging as an important fruit in the Northeastern region.
Dr KK Jindal, former additional director general of Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) said this while making a presentation on low chilling temperature fruits for sub-tropical and tropical zones of NE States to improve livelihood of farming communities at the three-day National seminar on “Integrating agri-horticultural and allied research for food and nutritional security in the era of global climate disruption”, here recently.
Kiwi, a small fruit about three inches long and weighing about 120-150 grams, is sold at Rs 90-Rs 100 in the farms with the price doubling in the markets. Its green flesh is creamy in consistency with an invigorating taste reminiscent of strawberries, melons and bananas, yet with its own unique sweet flavour.
“Kiwi can be grown where large Cardamom is cultivated,” said Dr Jindal, on the sideline of the ICAR sponsored seminar. “This inter-cropping could be the future vision of the Northeastern States”, he added.
Informing that all the NE States excluding Assam and Tripura have prospects of Kiwi cultivation as it grows in high hills and upland, Dr Jindal expressed his desire to establish a Kiwi research centre in Arunachal Pradesh which is the largest Kiwi fruit producer of the country.
He said Kiwi fruit cultivation area has been increasing in Nagaland in the last couple of years. Likewise, cultivation of the fruit at Mao area in Manipur’s Senapati area is also encouraging, he added.
“The quality of Kiwi in NE States is of international standard. Those in Arunachal Pradesh (150 gm) are much bigger than those available in New Zealand (120 gm),” he said.