Kohima, February 12 (NE): Zelome village under Phek District has been declared as Ground Apple growing village on February 11, 2020.
About 150 households were involved in cultivation of Ground Apple which is also known as ‘Yacon’ or simply “Earth Apple’. The declaration programme was jointly organised by the Village Council Zelome and Officers’ Club Pfutsero. Phuleshe K Yepthomi, ADC, Pfutsero in his exhortation speech said that our Naga forefathers were self sufficient and self reliant and that farmers of Zelome village was one of the modern examples who thrive without any government support. He also encouraged the farmers to cultivate the crop without depending on government subsidies but by relying on new technologies.
SMO, Pfutsero, Dr. Lhishelo speaking on the health benefits of Ground Apple said that regular consumption of Ground Apple improves the immune system and digestion. It is also good for liver and heart and can be consumed by diabetic and cancer patients.
Dr. Imtionen, SDAO Pfutsero highlighted on the organic cultivation tips on Ground Apple which can be grown easily in loose soil with organic matter and is more drought tolerant than other vegetables. He also mentioned that the crop has a long shelf life keeping quality intact. The leaves after harvest can be used as organic matter.
Speaking on the occasion as Guest of Honour, Senti Longchar, Horticulture Officer, HRF, Pfutsero said that Ground Apple is a very nutritious food and that every farmer should be encouraged to grow it in their field because it is a fast growing, remunerative and an easy to maintain crop. He also requested the farmers to market it at an affordable price to consumers so that the rich and the poor can enjoy this nutritious food. Other officers present during the programme were SDO (civil) Chizami, BDO Pfutsero and EAC Khezhakeno, said a notification from DIPR.