Chief Minister Pema Khandu today declared that the Arunachal Pineapple Festival, held at Bagra for the first time as a community initiative in collaboration with Arunachal Pradesh Marketing Board, will be an annual event to be organized by the state department of Horticulture.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the 3-day event, Khandu appreciated the local residents under the banner of All Bagra Welfare Society for conceptualizing the festival in collaboration with the state marketing board to highlight and revive pineapple cultivation in the area.
“I must congratulate the All Bagra Welfare Society for organizing this unique and novel event without relying on government funding,” he said.
Underscoring West Siang’s potential in horticulture, Khandu assured to establish a mini food park in the district with food processing units for all produces of the entire Siang belt.
It may be noted that Bagra village in particular and Pushi Bango in general cultivated pineapple in large scale since 1950 under the patronage of the first pineapple grower of the area late Tojo Bagra.
A pineapple grower association was formed in 1980 to explore better marketing avenues, regulate price and push for establishment of a large scale processing unit. Eventually a canning factory was established but couldn’t sustain thus demoralizing pineapple farmers.
The Pineapple Festival aims to push for at least 2000 to 5000 hectors of pineapple, orange, lemon, banana, etc cultivation in the area.
Also present on the occasion were Speaker Pasang D Sona, Cabinet Minister and local legislator Tumke Bagra and MLAs Biyuram Wahge, Kento Jini, Kardo Nyigyor, Gokar Basar, Goruk Pordung and Hayeng Mangfi.
Khandu, meanwhile, gave away certificates to winners of the MTB Challenge organized on the occasion.