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| Last Updated:01/06/2017

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Thanamir apples

 

Coming across vendors selling apples grown in Nagaland is a rare sight. However, such encounters have been made possible in recent times with the emergence of Thanamir as a premier apple producing village in Nagaland.

 

 A truck load of apples from Thanamir being sold in Dimapur

 

Shielded under the mighty Mount Saramati, Thanamir is a Yimchunger Naga village in Pungro Sub-Division, and located near the Indo-Myanmar border in Kiphire District. People here have been growing apples in their backyards since the early eighties.
While different versions exist, the history of apples in the village dates back to the early 1980s, when a Nepali soldier in the Assam Rifles posted in the area gifted three apple plants to J. Youngphukhiung, a GB, and a village guard as a gesture of friendship in a gift exchange. He later planted the same and later learnt the art of grafting and distributed grafts to fellow villagers.

 

The cultivation of the apple —“Saramati”— named after Mt Saramati, the highest peak in Nagaland thus started to spread to other people and nearby villages. Grafting is done in June-July and the new graft plants start to bear fruit in two years. Flowering takes place in March-April and the harvesting in August and September.
The Department of Horticulture also gives technical & financial support to encourage its cultivation. However, the introduction of the “Saramati Apple” to outside world is attributed to tireless efforts of the Nagaland Missions Movement (NMM) missionary based at Pungro Town, which later germinated into the first edition of the ‘Apple Festival’ organized at Thanamir village on 2010.

 

The festival is now an annual fixture.
The apples from Thanamir are purely organic with several health benefits.  This is the first batch of the season and the yield for this year was good according to sources.

 

In main town area of Dimapur, the apples were seen driven around in a pick-up truck and sold at the rate of Rs. 150 per kilo. The sales were not encouraging as by afternoon only around 20-30 kilos were sold. Duolo, DPCHM Executive Chairman attributed the relatively modest sale to lack of familiarity with the product.  When asked whether the price was too high, he said given the transportation and other cost involved, the price was reasonable.

 

Another batch of 400 kilos was also sent for sale to Kohima. According to Duolo, they also plan to open a stall in Chumukedima bazaar on Saturday.

 

 

Despite declaring the village as “vegetable village” by the Government of Nagaland in 2013 for its rich agriculture potential and biodiversity, lack of alternative marketing facilities either through the government or other avenues has proven to be an obstacle.

 

 

Source: MExN