White wine made from kiwi fruit in Arunachal Pradesh impresses wine connoisseurs in China.
The story of commercial kiwi farming in Ziro plateau began in 1999 with kiwi saplings specially brought in from New Zealand by Tage Talley, an engineer by profession. In a little over a decade, Ziro plateau boasts of more than 60 small and medium-sized cultivation farms and has emerged as one of the key centres of kiwi production. But the huge production had not many buyers and without a viable market, disillusionment set in among the farmers which led to many farms closing down.
The Silver Lining
For years, literally mounds of kiwi were dumped along the riverside going to waste. Locals weren’t keen on feeding this otherwise much sought after fruit even to pigs as they believed it stopped them from gaining weight. For the scenic Ziro valley, the charm of the kiwi fruit was definitely over. ‘I abandoned my orchard because there were no buyers and reaching out to markets in Assam was very difficult,’ said a local farmer.
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