19 Apr 2024  |   04:54am IST

Delving deeper into the fruit world of Goa

Botanical Society of Goa, in collaboration with Agricos Alumni Association and Our Lady Rosary Church, Navelim, will be organising the Konkan Fruit Fest on April 19, 20 and 21 at Rosary School Ground, Navelim. The 18th edition of the festival will be a celebration of the green wonders of the State as well as an opportunity to educate oneself about the fruits found in Goa
Delving deeper into the fruit world of Goa

Dolcy D’Cruz

Boram, chun’na, kanddam, charam, binda, jamun, zaam are not just fruits of the bygone era. They still exist and are found in different parts of the state. One of the best places to see and learn about these Goan fruits is at the three-day Konkan Fruit Festival which will be celebrating their 18th edition this year. Botanical Society of Goa, in collaboration with Agricos Alumni Association and Our Lady Rosary Church, Navelim, will be organising the Konkan Fruit Fest on April 19, 20, and 21, from 10 am to 8 pm at Rosary School Ground, Navelim. 

The members of the organising committee include Daniel D’Souza, president of the Botanical Society of Goa, Estella Pires, secretary, Priyanka Parab, treasurer, Elston Dias, Akshatra Fernandes, joint secretary, Jovita Sequeira, vice president and members, Ashish Prabhugaonkar, Alvito D’Silva and Miguel Braganza and Liza Pinheiro, secretary of Agricos Alumni Association. 

On Thursday, April 18, the festival received entries for the fresh fruit competition with at least 5-6 fruits and a minimum of a dozen of berries. The members received a great response. Secretary Estella Pires from Navelim says, “We received different varieties of mango, love apples and cashews. The other fruits include jamun, berries, watermelon, chickoo, boras, mulberries, chunna, boras, papaya, pineapple and carambola. The entries will be judged by experts and three winners will be selected from each category and cash prize along with certificates will be given on April 21 in the evening.”

Besides participating in the competitions, many Goans also bring different fruits from their own garden to the members of the Botanical Society of Goa to identify the variety. “We have a stall just opposite the exhibition stall. Many people approach us with different varieties of fruits and to learn more about it and how to care for the plants and trees. Some of the frequently asked questions are how to grow fruit trees and the dosage of manuring that is required,” adds Estella. 

Today, April 19, the inaugural of the Konkan Fruit Fest will be held at 11 am followed by the prize distribution of the 32nd Annual Home Garden Competition. The same day, entries will be received for homemade processed fruit products that are made from local fruits of Goa like juices, squashes, wines, jams, pickles, cakes, chutney, souffles, jellies etc. The Best Honey competition will be held at 10 am, after gaining popularity since its introduction last year. Participants should get honey produced at home in 100 ml glass jars with a tag of location from where honey is collected. It will be a competition of two different species of honey bees, apis cerena indica and trigona spp. honey categories. 

Konkan Fruit Fest will also feature nursery plant stalls, farm fresh produce, value added products, agriculture/garden inputs, with food counters and snacks and live music and entertainment. This is the first time that the festival is being held in Navelim, however, the Konkan Fruit Fest is no stranger to the South of Goa. Their previous editions in the south include the 2013-2014 edition at BPS Club, Margao and at Ravindra Bhavan, Margao in 2018. Liza Pinheiro from Vasco da Gama is currently the secretary of Agricos Alumni Association. “There was a lot of demand to have the festival in the south this year, especially in Navelim. There will be a local Farmer’s Market participating in the festival as well. We also received a great response for all the competitions and many entries have come in already. Besides the, Directorate of Agriculture, Forest Department, Goa College of Agriculture, Old Goa, Ramanata Crisna Pai Raikar School of Agriculture, Ponda, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and NGOs will be collaborators for the event,” says Liza.

The competitions are open to all and entry can be registered on the spot. On April 20, competitions like fruit-vegetable carving at 4 pm, flower arrangement at 4.45 pm and fancy dress competition at 5.30 pm will be held. Three winners from each competition will be selected and prize distribution will be held in the evening. On April 21, the concluding day of the festival, the day will begin with a drawing competition for children at 9.30 am followed by Guess the fruit weigh competition at 10 am and fruit eating competition at 10.30 am. The closing ceremony will be at 5 pm. “There will be stalls from North and South Goa. We want to inculcate the love for Goa’s fruits and plants from a young age and we want children to attend the festival and participate in the competition,” concludes Liza. 


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