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Arunachal Pradesh - India

Arunachal kiwi fruit growers try to take on New Zealand

The ‘anteri’ was merely another wild fruit growing in the jungles of the Ziro valley in Arunachal Pradesh's Lower Subansiri district. But a decade ago, a few farmers realised that anteris were in fact, kiwis.

At that time, New Zealand and had monopoly among kiwi lovers in the Indian markets. Now, the equally sweet, organically grown kiwis of Arunachal Pradesh are gradually making a mark in the marts and malls, despite numerous problems with storage and transportation.

Big Basket, the "online supermarket" provided a big push to the farmers as they agreed to travel to Ziro with their CA vehicles to directly buy kiwis at a remunerative price for markets outside the Northeast.

"They have agreed to buy in bulk. We prefer bulk buyers as it is difficult to store for more than a month without cold storage;' Aomri Murten, the Lower Subansiri ditrict horticulture officer told DH on Tuesday.

Over 250 hectares of land in Ziro are now under kiwi cultivation and nearly 175 farmers are now registered for selling their produce. Farmers in and around Tawang and Bomdila, situated at an altitude of 6,500 feet to 8,000 feet, close to China border are also similarly selling kiwis now.

The North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC), a government agency provided the first big push to the kiwi farmers last year by buying 11 tons.

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