- Twenty years ago, the kiwis that grew wild in Arunachal Pradesh’s Ziro Valley barely caught anyone’s attention. Recently, the kiwis of the region are the only certified organic fruit of their kind in the country.
The certification, its advantages
- Certification helps producers and handlers, they receive premium prices for the products, and have access to fast-growing, local, regional and international markets.
- Such a certificate made sense for a place like Arunachal Pradesh, because the state has “tremendous scope for cultivation” owing to its natural agro-climatic conditions. “Kiwi is one of the most important future commercial fruits.
- The organic certification was provided by the Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North East Region (MOVCD-NER), a scheme for the northeastern states by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare under the Central government.
- Arunachal is first in the country to obtain Organic Certification for Kiwi under Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North East Region (MOVCD-NER).
Back to Basics
- An agricultural practice/product is considered organic when there are no chemical fertilisers or pesticides involved in its cultivation process. Such certifications in India can be obtained after strict scientific assessment done by the regulatory body, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).
- Kiwis of Ziro Valley — located in Lower Subansiri district — were certified as organic following a standard three-year-process.
- The kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa Chev.) is a “deciduous fruiting vine native to Yangtze river valley of south and central China.” It is also called “China’s miracle fruit” and “Horticulture wonder of New Zealand”. “Kiwifruit vine originated in China, but its full economic potential was exploited by the New Zealanders, which accounts for over 70 per cent of world trade.
- The land which is fertile, has suitable agro-climatic conditions and the Ziro Valley specifically is located at 1,500-2,000 metres above sea level — this is most ideal for kiwi production.
- The state accounts for 50 per cent of the country’s kiwi production.
- Like Meghalaya is known for lakadong turmeric, Manipur is known for black rice, Arunachal Pradesh should be known for kiwi.
- While Ziro Valley accounts for major chunk of production, the fruit is also found in West Kameng district, Lower Dibang Valley district, Si-Yomi district, Kamle district, Papum Pare district and Pakke Kessang district.
Source: Indian Express