The rise of the ‘wild’ Arunachal kiwi
#GS3 #ENVIRONMENT #AGRICULTURE
Arunachal Pradesh kiwis are the only kiwis in the country to have obtained an organic certification.
- Twenty years ago, the kiwis that grew wild in Arunachal Pradesh’s Ziro Valley barely caught anyone’s attention.
- However, in the last decade, farmers slowly recognised the commercial value of the fruit.
- Today, the kiwis of the region are the only certified organic fruit of their kind in the country.
The certification, its advantages
- 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.
- 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.
- For years, a fruit locally called ‘anteri’ would grow wild in the hills of Arunachal Pradesh.
- Kiwifruit a boon for Arunachal Pradesh - 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.
- In Arunachal Pradesh, a domesticated variety of kiwi was introduced as a commercial fruit only in 2000.
- The state accounts for 50 per cent of the country’s kiwiproduction.
- The state wanted one signature crop to be brand, like Meghalaya is known for lakadong turmeric, Manipur is known for black rice, Arunachal Pradesh should be known for kiwi.