Apples found their way to Thanamir village in Kiphire District, Nagaland in 1981 when Yongphukhiung served as a Village Guard constable. According to Lentsüba, the son of Yongphukhiung, his father was known for his hunting skills and often pursued wild boar. One day, after a successful hunt, Yongphu shared some wild boar meat with the Gorkha troop of the Assam Rifles.

thanamir apple
Yongphukhiung, and the mother apple tree  laden with fruits

“I think the Indian Army soldier was a storekeeper,” recalled Lentsüba, adding that in return, the Gorkha troop gifted Yongphukhiung an apple, a fruit entirely unfamiliar to him.

“My father used to say that he assumed it might resemble a wild apple, but upon tasting it, realized it was different,” Lentsüba tells Mokokchung Times. Intrigued by this exotic fruit, Yongphukhiung discovered from the Indian Army that the origin of the apple was in the state of Kashmir, northern India.

Yongphukhiung then carefully saved the seeds and propagated the saplings, planting them on the hillside. Thus, Thanamir’s apple industry began to take root more than 40 years ago.

The ‘mother tree’ is believed to have blossomed for the first time in between 1987 – 1988, bearing its inaugural fruits the following year.

Lentsüba clarified that while there had been misunderstandings about the apple’s introduction to the village, the Thanamir Village Council, in a meeting some years ago, unanimously affirmed that Yongphukhiung was indeed the person who introduced the apple to the village.

Presently, Yongphukhiung resides in Khong village, a different village within the Kiphire district, reportedly serving as its second GB (Gaon Burah).

Mokokchung Times

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *