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Cucumber festival 2024: An ode to cucumber cultivators of Aliba village


Mentioning that through the cucumber festival, a “unity” amongst the Nagas could be spread, the tourism director observed that the village (Aliba) has the potential to become a tourist destination (s)

By Imna Longchar, TFM Nagaland Correspondent

An agrarian state, Nagaland over the years has shown how its land is blessed with agriculture, horticulture, and floriculture produces which are well accepted internationally.

Letting its presence felt as the hub in producing the “juiciest cucumbers” in the country, all roads led to the host village, Aliba under the Mokokchung district, marking its 3rd year in honouring the farmers behind the very two-day “Cucumber Festival 2024” supported by the Nagaland government including the horticulture department, and the Hills Agro Agency. The two-day fest which was inaugurated on Friday, culminated on May 12.

Crediting the more than 80 to 90 cucumber farmers involved, director, Tourism, Nagaland, Veyielo Doulo, who attended the two-day fest as a special invitee said that cultivating cucumber during the dry seasons was one of the “rarest” and lauded the farmers in their different approach to use the “traditional scientific” methods.

The success of the cucumber cultivation in the village is Imnanichet (78), the oldest male farmer, and the oldest female farmer, Imchasungla (72), who have the distinction of harvesting more than 22,000 cucumbers in a season.

Paying a tribute to the late Purremba Pongen, a pioneer of the “offspring” or the off-season cucumber cultivation, Doulo observed that the festival transcended its cucumber theme, becoming a unifying event for the Nagas, while also adding that unity, prosperity, and harmony was created by bringing people from different tribes.

Mentioning that through the cucumber festival, a “unity” amongst the Nagas could be spread, the tourism director observed that the village (Aliba) has the potential to become a tourist destination (s) for which he recommended for establishment of homestays and hotels within the village while assuring that training on hospitality and tourism would be provided and encouraged locals to identify tourist attractions within the village.

The event partners for the in-sync 3rd edition of the “Cucumber Festival” included the Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA), Nagaland Horticulture, and Hills Agro Agency.

Chairing the line-ups of the programme was secretary, organizing committee, welcome address was delivered by Lipokmar, Convenor of the Organizing Committee, while short speeches were delivered by Tatongkaba Pongen, Chairma, Aliba Village Council, and Rongsennungla Imchen, organizing committee member.

Pertinent to be mentioned here that having conceptualized as a way to promote cucumber cultivation in Nagaland and perhaps in the entire country, the noble initiative was taken by the Aliba farmers putting Nagaland state in the world map since hosting the first ever two days festival with farmer-scientist interaction while an angling plan has been lined up at “Dzuvi valley” Aliba village, Mokokchung, as an added attraction.


Cucumber cultivation in Aliba village

Dating back to the year 1985 of cucumber cultivation in Aliba village, secretary, organizing committee, Temjentola, who also chaired the programme, highlighted about the cucumber cultivation inspite of erratic weather condition, the hardworking farmers did not give up in the cultivation (off season), which instead helped them in sustaining themselves while showing keen interest and enthusiasm.

Having felt the need to organize such a kind of an event, the agri and its allied graduates from the village also supported in organizing the first of its kind in the history of Nagaland.

However, he said that due to late Burremba’s consistency and patience in approaching towards the cultivation of the crop, it had also yielded him as a “successful progressive farmer” of Nagaland.

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