Silchar, Aug. 13: The Mizoram government plans to hold a passion fruit festival in late September or early October at Swangpuilawn village, 100km from Aizawl, where it is cultivated.
The horticulture department deputy director, K. Lalduhawma, said the objective of the festival was to popularise the fruit — grown plentifully at present in Brazil, some other South American nations and Australia — and capture markets in other states.
A horticulture development official, P. Lianpunga, today said the efforts by his department to convince the paddy farmers in the state to take up passion fruit cultivation had succeeded to some extent.
The state now produces 1,470 quintals of the fruit in 700 hectares of land, he added.
Lalduhawma said there were economic benefits in the farming this fruit, which has medicinal value.
Passion fruit is ideally grown in the hilly areas at the average altitude of 1,500 metres.
According to the horticulture experts in Mizoram, the Coorg region of Karnataka has passion fruit orchards. Recently, farmers in Meghalaya and Manipur have also started cultivating this fruit.
A senior official of the horticulture department said if infrastructure and communication was improved, Mizoram could market this fruit to other states.