Held in Bengaluru from December 14th to 17th, the ZestFest was organised by the government of Meghalaya to highlight food products from the Northeastern state at various locations of the city. Read on to know more.
Held in Bengaluru from December 14th to 17th, the ZestFest was organised by the government of Meghalaya to highlight food products from the Northeastern state at various locations of the city. Of all the indigenous foods from Meghalaya, the GI-tagged Khasi Mandarin oranges have garnered more attention during the festival. Here’s what you need to know.
The Khasi Mandarin is a variety of Mandarin oranges that are native to the state of Meghalaya and is considered to be the state’s signature fruit. Larger than a tennis ball in size, these oranges weigh between 130-150 grams and are bright orange in colour. With very mild citric acid component, merely 0.6% and 0.7%, these oranges are sweeter rather than tangy or sour. In December, the Meghalaya Directorate of Horticulture and Meghalaya Agricultural Marketing Board also sent off 20 metric tonnes of Khasi Mandarins to Dubai to boost their trade.
Video Credit: YouTube/Meghalaya Mission Organic
“This festival serves as a platform for farmers, Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), Self-Help Groups (SHGs), and farmer companies to showcase their orange harvest in Bengaluru,” said Meghalaya Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Mazel Ampareen Lyngdoh. “The market conditions are favourable 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.”
The minister also added that the Meghalaya government is also adopting a number of schemes like Focus, CM-Elevate, and Prime to facilitate direct market linkage between farmers and buyers in major metropolitan cities. Regarding the Khasi Mandarin oranges in particular, she said that it is the signature fruit of Meghalaya and it is garnering major focus at the ZestFest in Bengaluru from the moment the fest opened. The event has also helped get renewed focus on the culture and farmers of the Northeastern state.
“States like Karnataka have 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,” she said.