Mizoram's passion fruits to be exported

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Aizawl, Sep 28 (UNI) A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the state-owned Mizoram Food and Allied Industries Corporation Limited (MIFCO) and Guwahati-based Greencover Overseas for marketing the passion fruit juice processed by MIFCO.

State Agriculture Minister H Rammawi said here today that the state government had been trying to market the state-grown passion fruits since the past few years but was unsuccessful because the big companies did not find the produce high enough for large-scale marketing.

The signing of the MoU yesterday, striking a two-year deal with Greencover Overseas, would come as a ray of hope for the passion fruit growers in the remote areas of the state, he said.

''Passion fruit has been found to contain vitamins A and C not only in its juice but also in its peel. Therefore, we can use the peels, with which we had earlier planned to manufacture manures, for more valuable products,'' Mr Rammawi said.

He also stated that steps were being taken to procure organic certificates for the products, which would ensure higher prices for the fruits.

Besides, initiatives were on for large-scale cultivation of passion fruits, particularly in Eastern Mizoram to replace the age-old shifting cultivation.

MIFCO Managing Director (MD) Lalzarliana Renthlei disclosed that the concentration plant at Chhingchhip Foodpark currently produces one lakh litres of passion fruit juice annually adding that an Italian-made and more productive machine would be installed soon.

He thanked the Chief Minister and Agriculture Minister for helping the passion fruit growers in the state.

The MoU had the MIFCO MD and MIP project officer C Lalzarliana from Mizoram and Greencover Overseas Chief Executive Officer N Krishna Saikia and its manager (Agri Business) as signatories.

UNI

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