Delay in flowering of Yongchak affecting farmers in Tamenglong

Yongchak or “Parkia timoriana” is one of the most sought after beans in Manipur.

ByDaniel Kamei

Updated 1 Oct 2023, 5:37 am

Yongchak (Parkia timoriana) tree (PHOTO: IFP)
Yongchak (Parkia timoriana) tree (PHOTO: IFP)

“In this era everything seems to be changing in this world. People are not just aware of the changes and what is causing it. Whether it is global warming or climate change everything seems to be affected,” feels Aguina Pamei of Atonguining village in remote Tamenglong district of Manipur.

Aguina Pamei, a 50 year old man from Atonguining said that the changes became visible in the flowering of the popular ‘Yongchak’ or stink beans in 2006-07. The delay in flowering began progressing gradually through the years.

Yongchak is the Meitei name of the bean and it is locally known as “Kampai” in Tamenglong. Otherwise, it is known as “Tree bean” or “Parkia timoriana” (scientific name).

Yongchak is one of the most sought after beans in the state and it can be relished in almost every dish, including salad. However, the true taste of Yongchak comes with ‘Iromba’, a local dish.

According to Aguina Pamei, the flowering of “Kampai” begins in and around September and continues flowering till it matures in either October or November. Harvesting starts in early February till the end of March.

He said he used to sell “Kampai” and oranges during ‘Ningol Chakkouba’ festival of the Meiteis in October and November but now flowering and fruit bearing process is being delayed. And, it is affecting the income of Yongchak farmers.

 “Ningol Chakkouba” is one of the biggest festivals of the Meiteis wherein married sisters and aunts are invited to the parental homes by the male members along with their children for an annual family get-together.

A sumptuous meal with local delicacies, including fish and other items, are served. But, for the mashed vegetable dish with chilly ‘Yongchak’ is rather an essential ingredient.

According to Aguina Pamei, many people believed that delay in flowering and bearing fruit of “Kampai” is due to the delayed or late harvest of mature “Kampai” in a year.

However, he has tested and tried removing/harvesting “Kampai” from flowering to get “Kampai” early in the next year in a particular tree.

“I was shocked to see the tested “Kampai” tree flowering with the other trees in the next year”, Aguina Pamei who owns 25- 30 “Kampai” trees in his farm said.

The best time for selling Yongchak is in the month of February to end March in 2021- 22 unlike December and January in 2006-7.

Kampai” or Yongchak can also be air-dried and sold later on. However, fresh “Kampai” is available till the end of March in 2022.

Although Aguina Pamei is little busy, when Imphal Free Press reporter visited him as a part of the survey on climate change impact on the environment in the state, he is keen to narrate the woes of the Tamenglong farmers.

He said, farmers are blindly planting either “Kampai”, orange, or banana, or lemons, etc. as there is no soil testing machine in the district. Farmer needs to know the condition of the soil condition with changes happening around to get maximum harvest.


“As time goes by people felt very hot during the day. Owing to the ever-rising temperature in the last ten years, electric fans are being used in the home even in the hill village. Farmers or labourers are finding it very hard to work under hot sun during the day”, he said.

He opined that jhum (shifting cultivation) fires are the most dangerous. It could be one of the main factors of ozone layer depletion which in turn hastens climate change.

Single use plastic is seen everywhere. One day he and his friend went to catch a fish in the river as usual. “My friend casted a net into the lake hoping to get some fish but the net caught only plastic bottles instead of fish”, he laughs.

He appealed to everyone particularly concerned authorities to ban or stop using single use plastic and control jhum fire to fix the ozone layer depletion to check climate change.

Apart from delay in flowering of “Kampai”, rainfall pattern also changed in Tamenglong, he said.

Before 2000, there was a time rainfall continued whole day and night for a week, but now all rain has stopped, it rains in the morning and evening, he added. He has been observing late arrival of rain.  

It may be mentioned that till August 2023, there is rainfall deficit of about 47.28 per cent as per Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Manipur centre records. So far, 52.72 per cent rain out of 1474.3mm {annual rainfall} is recorded this year.

A 60 years old man Alan Gonmei from Rangkhung village in Noney district said as thick forested areas had been cleared for the NF railway construction, the sun has become hotter and hotter in Noney district.

He said villages in the hills are usually cool but in the last five years people started to use electric fans at home and used umbrellas when people went out of their house.

“In 2018 people did not require an umbrella for sun but now it is very difficult to move out without umbrella”, he said, adding that people are using electric fan at home even in the village”, Alan Gonmei said.

According to Alan Gonmei flowering of “Kampai” or “Yongchak” tree has been delayed in Noney district too. He said he had noticed this phenomenon for the last five years. He said “Yongchak” tree died after bearing fruit for one year.

“Dying Yongchak tree from an unknown disease continues. Few plants in Rangkhung village and it is likely to be harvest early January and February”, Alan said.

An eighty-years-old man Khiamthuiyang Pamei hailing from Old Tamenglong, Khunjao Inriangluang village told Imphal Free Press that everything seems to be changing gradually these days.

“As time and climate changed, we can’t predict anything now. In the days gone by, elders could study the symptoms and predict the arrival of monsoon or any noticeable changes which could affect agriculture activities,” he said.

He said when he was young, elders use to say schima wallichii “Usoi pambi” in Manipuri locally known as “Nsiangbang” usually bloom its flower in the regular interval from March to May.

When “Nsiang” flowering drops/falls its petal upside on the ground it indicates right time for paddy seed sowing but when the “Nsiang” flower drop its petal downside on the ground, it indicated that the time for seed sowing is over.


However, “Nsiangbang” is flowering in June and July now a days, he said. He had noticed this since 2000, he added.

“Again when “Nsiangbang” do rejuvenate the trees to shed their old leaves and branches and give a chance for new leaves and stems to sprout. There will be storm in this season and so people would renovate and re-enforce their dwellings from being damaged by storm. Once the bloom flower falls upside down on the ground people take a journey to a distant place saying that there is going to be no more storm”, he narrated.

He further narrated that eventually when “Nsiangbang” gives out young fruit which seems to be eatable by birds and animals as the new fruit is sour. Birds like Barbet “Abaew” (in local) and owls wait for the fruit to get ripe. It does not yield edible fruits like other trees.

Birds like “Abaew” Barbet wait for the fruits to get ripe but it just gets dried and cracks away with the seeds having its own wings to part with its new tree.

This bird waiting for ripening of “Nsiangthai” “Usoipambi hai” fruit narration is compared to young lover boy and girl when the girl ran away with another lover. The boy wasted his time like Barbet bird wasting their time waiting to get ripe “Nsiangthai”, he narrated.

“Kampai” is delayed everyone knows it, he said. Everyone is trying to adapt to the changing (warmer) climate by using an electric fan at home and using an umbrella when one got out of home.

“This was not happening in 1960-70. In those days, houses are built with thatch, but now human expansion is rapidly growing, houses are made of GI tins, massive deforestation everywhere. How can we expect comfortable weather/climate”, Khiamthuiyang Pamei felt.

He made an appeal to plant more trees in their surrounding areas to have a clean environment and good shade in fight the changes happening around us in recent times.

According to the Directorate of Environment and Climate change, the minimum temperature recorded in January 2013 was 6.55 degree Celsius and maximum temperature was 21.01 degree Celsius. The maximum temperature recorded in September 2013 is 38.88 degree Celsius with minimum temperature is 19.49 degree Celsius and maximum rainfall is 168.2 (MM).

The latest minimum temperature recorded in April 2023 is 12.68 degree Celsius with maximum temperature recorded is 28.77 degree Celsius with 120.04 (MM) rainfall.

Delayed in blooming of “Yongchak” or “Nsiang” or any other plants, etc. or changing of rain pattern, rising of heat is nothing but the impact of global warming and climate change, the source added.

In the meantime, an environmentalist and wildlife warden Tousem area Nehemiah Panmei stated that the dreaded tentacles of global warming have reach everywhere, spreading its adverse impact in every nook and corner of the world. He said its ill effects are beginning to be felt even in places like Tamenglong which have been so blessed by God with rich flora and fauna.

“We are not aware of the fact that animals and birds helped forests to multiply the trees and nature the environment. We kill squirrels, we use plastics and throw them into river, we use chemicals and inverters for fishing. With the coming of ‘chain saw’ deforestation in Tamenglong district is the worst in two or three years”, Panmei said.

He said “we have heard about floods coming in unexpected cities, storms blowing, destroying houses, or disappearing of river and lake. Mosquitos are increasing in Tamenglong, we never hard of dengue in Tamenglong but now dengue cases are increasing, summer heat is rising every year, we have witnessed even big rivers like “Barak” are not flowing full volume, all these are ill effects of global warming and climate change”, Panmei said.

Nehemiah Panmei fervently appealed to all the citizens of Manipur particularly Tamenglong and Noney district to stop hunting and killing of birds and animals, flora and fauna including fishing by using chemical or inverter. He also urges everyone to dispose of waste plastic material in the proper place and not litter in the forest.


First published:


climate changeyongchakglobal warmingstink beansParkia timoriana

Daniel Kamei

Daniel Kamei

IFP Correspondent, TAMENGLONG


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