Saturday, December 16, 2023

Meghalaya’s Khasi Mandarin Takes Centre Stage At The “ZestFest 2023” In Bengaluru

ZestFest, a celebration dedicated to the flavors and cultural significance of the Khasi Mandarin Orange of Meghalaya is all set to captivate attendees with a burst of citrusy excitement spanning over four days starting from the 14th till 17th of December 2023. This unique event aims to showcase the rich heritage and zestful traditions associated with the Khasi Mandarin orange from Meghalaya. 

The event which is scheduled to be held in Bengaluru across different malls located in the city – Lulu Mall, Bangalore, Forum Mall, Kanakpura and Lal Bagh Botanical Garden, will celebrate and showcase the flavors and cultural richness of Meghalaya’s Khasi Mandarin oranges, bringing together local farmers, businesses, and communities in a vibrant celebration. The event witnessed the presence of the Minister of Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Government of Meghalaya, Dr. Mazel Ampareen Lyngdoh who graced the event as special guest. Hon’ble Agriculture Minister expressed, “The festival serves as a platform for Farmers, Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), Self-Help Groups (SHGs), and Farmer Companies to showcase their orange harvest in Bangalore. The market conditions are favorable for farmers to dedicate their efforts, given the government's unwavering commitment to investing in, introducing, and empowering technology-based practices for improved agricultural growth. This initiative aims to prepare agricultural produce for both national and international markets. I encourage the young sellers present to step forward; numerous opportunities await you, and the government is dedicated to providing continuous support. Various schemes, including FOCUS, CM-ELEVATE, and PRIME, have been implemented to facilitate this. Today, we also witnessed a cultural exposure. Even Karnataka has the presence of different tribal groups. Despite differences, there is a cultural unity reflected in their attire and vibrant dances, echoing our own cultural richness. This integration is crucial for our collective progress and understanding.”   

Highlighting Meghalaya’s rich agricultural heritage, ZestFest showcases the succulent Khasi Mandarin oranges, renowned for their unparalleled flavor and vibrant zest. The festival aims to showcase the exceptional quality and distinctive taste of these locally grown oranges, emphasizing the region’s commitment to sustainable agriculture and culinary excellence. It may be mentioned that on the 11th of December 2023, the Directorate of Horticulture, Government of Meghalaya, and the Meghalaya State Agricultural Marketing board in a momentous ceremony, flagged off 20 metric tons of GI-tagged Khasi Mandarin to Dubai marking a significant milestone for Meghalaya’s rich agricultural diversity. 

In addition to the culinary extravaganza, ZestFest will offer a cultural immersion into the world of Khasi Mandarin oranges, including a display of a wide variety of fresh produce, with a focus on Khasi Mandarin oranges and related products. Visitors can enjoy traditional music and dance performances, witness live demonstrations of orange harvesting techniques, and explore the unique cultural showcase inspired by the vibrant citrus fruit. ZestFest is not just a celebration of Khasi Mandarin oranges but a tribute to the hardworking farmers and the rich agricultural landscape of   Meghalaya. It beautifully encapsulates the essence of community, agriculture, and celebration. It recognizes and applauds the dedication of our local farmers who play a pivotal role in cultivating the exquisite Khasi Mandarin oranges that grace the state of Meghalaya. The festival serves as a platform to shine a spotlight on their tireless efforts, resilience, and the vital contribution they make to the community and appreciate the hard work that goes into every orange we enjoy. It not only promotes Meghalaya’s agricultural heritage but also boosts tourism, and economy, providing a platform for local businesses to thrive.  

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