Initiatives for market promotion of Kiwi
Kiwi, a fruit with lot of health benefits, is grown in various parts of India having sub temperate climate. Presently, India produces around 13000 MT of Kiwi fruit in an area of 4000 Ha in states like Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland (Data of 2019-20). The fruit has lot of anti oxidants and are a good source of fiber. It has rich nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin E, folate and potassium and provides a boost to the immune system.
Kiwi is one of the focus horticultural crop of Nagaland and is grown in an area of 500 Ha. The fruit is commercially grown in districts like Phek, Kohima & Zunheboto. The varieties grown are Hayward, Allison & Bruno.There are several logistic issues which restricts marketing of the fruit.
a) Road connectivity: The poor and deplorable condition of the road often acts as a barrier for the farmers to transport perishable and sensitive crops.
b) Grading, packaging: There is a need to train the farmers on the importance and benefits of sorting & grading as per size, quality etc. The delivery of fruits is done in bags without proper packaging which is not suitable for distant markets.
c) Production & productivity issues.
d) Freight charges: High transportation cost often discourages buyers.
With the objective to promote Kiwi growers from Nagaland, the Institute took a number of initiatives. The farmers were also provided trainings on production aspects of Kiwi. Further, the Institute organized exposure visit for farmers to Kiwi growing areas in other states to train them on production, post harvest management & marketing of the fruit.
To standardize the delivery of Kiwi as per the preferences of the customers, the Institute facilitated in developing packaging concepts for Kiwi fruit. Four (04) packaging concept were developed (Design courtesy: Shri. Shivanjan Dalmia) by the Institute and the farmers were provided hands on training and demonstration on packaging through experts. The packaging materials developed by the Institute are as follows;
1. Punnet: Punnet packaging is mainly for retail sale. Each punnet holds 3-5 kiwi fruit (as per size) and could be the basic form of delivery through retail outlet. The packaging targets small and nuclear families.
2. Fresh box: The box holds around 9-10 kiwi fruit (as per size) and is also targeted for retail sale. The weight is around 1 kg and is also called the Economy pack. It is the most appropriate and convenient form of packaging for retail sale and the format targets small and medium level families.
3. Imperial box: The box holds 06 nos. of punnets and contains around 18-30 kiwi fruits (as per size). The packaging box is developed targeting premium customers and also for gifts during special occasions.
4. Tray: This format of packaging is targeted for both wholesale and retail sale. Each tray contains around 30-33 kiwi fruit (as per slot in tray) and weighs around 3 kgs. The concept also offers an option for buyers/ customers to hand pick and select the one they prefer.
To further promote the crop and the Kiwi growers at National platform, Ministry of along with Central Institute of Horticulture, Nagaland organized a virtual meeting on ‘Value Chain Creation for Kiwi fruit – Farm to Fork’ keeping in mind the popularity of the fruit due to its tremendous commercial potential on 11th November 2020. The meeting was chaired by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar in presence of Minister of State for Agriculture, Shri Parshottam Rupala, Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and other officials of the Ministry and State of Nagaland.
Addressing the gathering, the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar said that the entire North East due to difficult terrain is lagging behind and all Ministries including Agriculture Ministry are working towards ensuring a progressive North East. He said that this lag needs to be removed and can only be one through a comprehensive vision along with stable policy planning and balanced growth across the region as envisioned by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
Shri. Tomar also elaborated on the problems faced by the farmers in the North East region namely lack of good planting material, productivity issues, lack of packaging facilities and marketing networks for farmers. Considering the problems faced, he said that Centre is working hand in hand with State Governments and especially the Central Institute of Horticulture, Nagaland and the Department of Agriculture and Farmers’s Welfare has taken key steps to ensure proper training and capacity building of farmers in production as well as packaging of kiwi products is done. The Government is also ensuring that farmers are connected to the market so that they can reap a fair price for their produce. The institute in Nagaland has also conducted training and exposure visit of farmers from Phek District of Nagaland for helping them understand how to reap good returns through Kiwi production. Shri Tomar added that persistent efforts should be made by all to ensure Nagaland can emerge as the ‘Kiwi State’ of India.
The packaging concepts developed by the Institute was also launched by the Hon’ble Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar during the virtual meet in the presence of officials from Ministry of Agriculture, Nagaland Horticulture department officials, staffs of CIH, Nagaland and Kiwi growers.
Packaging has a crucial role in promoting a product and with the concepts provided by the Institute, the farmers will be able to market their produce to any market they prefer and will increase the marketability of their produce. The farmers have been marketing their produce directly without any support from APMC. Kiwi is graded in three categories i.e. Grade A (90-110 gm), Grade B (70-90 gm) & Grade C (>70 gm) with farm gate rate of Rs.150/kg, Rs.120/kg & Rs. 80-100/kg. The farm gate price of ungraded Kiwi is Rs. 60/kg.
The Institute has received a lot of enquiries from the Kiwi Growers to use the packaging concepts developed by the Institute and the Institute is facilitating the Kiwi farmers for it.